FES for drop foot

FES for drop foot

FES was originally designed and is still most commonly used to support those who suffer from drop foot. Drop foot occurs when the dorsiflexor muscles do not work correct thus causing your foot to remain dropped throughout walking. This can cause difficulty with walking as you are more likely to scuff your toes and foot on the ground consequently increasing the risk of falls.

To combat drop foot electrodes are placed upon the common peroneal nerve and small electrical impulses are sent this causes the nerve to respond and the muscle to contract appropriately. To time the impulses correctly the user wears a heel switch which is pressure sensitive, impulses are sent as the heel lifts off the floor and ends when the heel strikes the floor. This enables the user to walk in a more natural fluid walking pattern.

What conditions causing drop foot are FES devices often used for?

Drop foot or dorsal flexor weakness can be caused by a variety of conditions and FES can be used for many of them including:

  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Incomplete paralysis
  • Cerebral palsy

This list of conditions is not exhaustive. If you are unsure if you would be suitable for a FES device please contact us to discuss.

What are the benefits of a FES device for drop foot?

There are many benefits that come from using a FES device. These include:

  • Improved confidence when walking
  • Improved mobility
  • Improved walking (speed and pattern)
  • Increased ability to walk further distances
  • Reduced risk of trips and falls due to the foot being lifted during walking
  • Reduced spasticity

There are many benefits using an FES device to find out more please contact us to discuss.

What types of FES devices are available for drop foot?

There are a variety of devices that may be used including:

  • MyGait
  • ODFS Pace
  • Bioness L300

What is the process to be receive a FES device for drop foot?

The process to receive a FES device for drop foot would be:

  • Assessment
  • Measuring
  • Fitting
  • Review

You will initially need to be assessed to decide whether you are suitable for functional electrical stimulation. If it is found that your muscles and nerves respond well to the stimulation then your orthotist recommend the appropriate device for your requirements. Once selected your orthotist will advise you on how to correctly wear the device as well as appropriate treatment plan. They will adjust the device to ensure the signals sent are suitable for your needs.

How do I arrange an assessment for a FES device?

To get in touch or arrange an appointment, you can call us at 0330 088 3949 or email office@orthotics.co.uk.

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