When talking to Bioness, they told us it was so much better, and they would help us try to get insurance reimbursement for it. I was encouraging my mom to get it, but now I’m so glad we found this out before spending thousands of dollars for something that isn’t any better than what her insurance will already pay for.
Please consider before you buy a Bioness (or even a Walkaide they seem similar I don’t know?) because they are a LOT of money, and now it sure doesn’t seem like it is worth it.
Welcome to ThisIsMS. Do you have a link to the study?Houstongirl wrote:My mom was thinking about getting a Bioness L300 and now I find out from her therapist, the Bioness study has finished…and it showed that its the SAME as an AFO! She said the study shows the people using the Bioness and those using an AFO had the same results and there is NO difference between them!
It was done in persons with Stroke not MS
The average time since stroke was >4 years; so these patients were preconditioned to their AFO for a long time
The fact that the L300 match the results of the AFO is not bad, given the above fact (time since stroke) and that most participants received new or modified AFO's when they started
The L300 showed a larger percent change in recovery; measurements taken without the device
Participants in the trial significantly preferred the L300 over the AFO for effectiveness, everyday use, and continued use
Both groups received PT for 6 weeks in the beginning of the study which likely drove improvements in the groups despite which device they used.
Since the results, although equivalent, were statistically and clinically meaningful they could help with reimbursement and let patients and providers have more choices in how they manage drop foot.
Studies can be misleading (positively and negatively) but keep in mind that studies designed to get devices covered by insurance are usually designed to show equivalence to the current "covered" standard of care. In this case, both devices work, that doesn't mean there are not advantages outside the context of this trial.
Copy of study can be found here: http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/4 ... dbf63208e1
Personally, for us, we're not convinced the L300 is better than an AFO even if the study was with stroke patients. I mean, there isn't an L300 for MS patients and a separate L300 for stroke patients is there?
Seems to me, its just like our therapist told us: the L300 had the same results as the AFO. For us, thats not worth paying $6,000 for one. Maybe it is for other people, but not for my mom.
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I don't usually read anything but the CCSVI forum, but I have tried both the Walkaide and the Bioness. I had an initial test of the Bioness today.
I tried the Walkaide about 1-2 years ago. YMMV, but the device I used never worked for me. My last attempt I had been given the supposedly accurately programmed device for a longish time, and I had 2 main troubles.
1. It went through batteries like nobody's business, because I never got good info on how to position the electrodes (I don't think the sales people had had good training), and had to crank it to 8 to get my foot to respond. Ouch.
2. I might have got used to the shocks, but some (a lot, actually) were not at the right time in my gait, so I kept getting shocks for no reason and I was a nervous wreck, even without the "MS".
I do not represent anybody.
The Walkaide took months to get set up, used to, and finally to give up on. I really tried. The reason it was to be better than my AFO is that my gait has suffered, and my foot got no exercise, and I am now pretty dependent on the AFO. Someone told Simon Lewis if he used an AFO he would never be free of it.
The first visit for the Walkaide, I had still been weeks away from using it. So I was expecting to dispatch the Bioness sales person unceremoniously.
The Bioness device (to be fair, it is very similar) was set up, and I was walking properly without the AFO in about an hour. The difference I noted was that a)it didn't need to shock me, and b) it only fired when I needed it to. That is because of their foot switch technology. Patented, I know -- I am really not trying to sell it, and think the patent just makes it more expensive.
I have not decided to take the plunge yet, but I have renewed hope. It seemed to work, and I had seen Simon Lewis use it on YouTube, and read his book. So for me, the jury is still out, mostly because I may not be able to afford it. Might be worth it. If I were them I would put in a Lithium-ion battery.
Also: the WalkAid trial was free and the Bioness 1-month trial costs $500, only refunded if you buy it.
There is another device I have heard of that lifts your shoe mechanically, and I suppose I may settle for that.
Not a doctor.
What kind of results are you getting? What were you expecting? What exactly has been happening when you contact Bioness? How long have you owned it?
My insurance paid for the device. I know not everyone has that luck. However, prior to the insurance approval I was dealing with a state agency (I live in PA) called the Office for Vocational Rehabilitation, and they were ready to pay in full for the device. I am told that other states have similar offices. Bioness also allows for rentals so you can try out the device for an extended period of time.
I look forward to learning more from others!
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