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MuSmate vs Foot-up orthosis

Has anybody tried either or both of these for foot-drop? I’ve got a Foot-up and it works, but less well than it did when new. The elastic is a bit fatigued and the ankle cuff is not as good as it was. I’ve been looking at the MuSmate website and although it looks a bit ungainly, it may work more effectively for longer. I’m especially keen on the idea that it may help with the whole leg action as my weak leg is weak all the way up, not just the foot. So if it was to help the knee and hip as well as the foot lift, it might work much better for me. Any thoughts on foot drop orthoses or other solutions would be much appreciated. Sue

The “foot up” is pretty good if the problem is not too bad, but the parts do wear out and need replacing. Have you looked at the “fes” as a possible solution? They have the advantage of building muscle strength over time and can be very effective at lifting the foot.

www.odstockmedical.com

Hi I have both for the right leg and have also tried FES. My problem is not weakness in the muscle to lift the foot up but spasticity in calf making it more difficult to lift foot. This was proved when I tried FES as the impulse only lifted foot up the same amount I could do myself. The footup helps a bit. I also have spasticity in quads making it harder to bend knee. The MuSmate is much better but I only really use it when walking the dog in the park as it is ungainly looking. You cant really use it under clothes.

Hope this helps

Moyna

I used the foot-up for a while but It soon stopped doing the job it was intended to do.

For the last 4 years I’ve used a SAFO (silicone-ankle-foot-orthosis) and it’s been wonderful and helped greatly to keep me mobile.

Derek.

Hello Ssssue etc,

I’ve used a Musmate for about 5 years. I have chronic foot drop in my left foot, in other words I cannot lift my left leg, the whole leg is difficult to control and my ankle is very stiff. Putting left foot into a shoe, I have to position my leg over the shoe using my hands, putting a sock onto the left foot is a nightmare. Getting up stairs when foot at all tired is difficult if not impossible,

The Musmate answers all my problems. The elastic strap that goes from waist to shoe lifts the foot up as I walk. I can shorten the elastic so going up stairs is a doddle. It makes walking possible. Basically it lifts the foot off the ground so you don’t trip over. I wear it all the time, you do need belt straps to thread it through so might be difficult for woman wearing skirt.

Why it is not on the NHS is unbelievable, Musmate is a very clever invention and not at all expensive

Take a look at my website in a few days, having some changes done right now so it is a bit of a mess. I talk about the Musmate quite extensively.

Go for it,

Patrick

Hi, thanks for all your replies. (And for the info on your website Patrick, I came across it when I started to look into the Msmate.) My foot-up is really not doing a very good job which is why I started looking at alternatives. I’ve only been using it since about April and although at first it seemed wonderful, for the last few weeks my right foot is just not picking up well at all. I’ve thought about FES but am not convinced it would work for me since like Moyna, my problems with he right leg are not just related to the foot/ankle. I reckon I’d give it a go and have it on my list to discuss with my MS nurse. So at the weekend I decided to get a MuSmate, ordered one and it came today. It is truly an ugly device and I don’t think there’s any way for it to look prettier, even though it does come in several colours! I’m not too bothered about the look of the thing though, it’s maybe an improvement on the way I’d be walking (or not walking) without it. I finally figured out how to put it on and gave it a go. It’s amazingly good at the job of picking up my foot. I think it’s works better for me than the Foot-up because the whole action of the leg is improved. However, it also wore my right leg out very fast. I’ve been swapping between my wheelchair and walker for the last 6 months following a pretty devastating relapse and I can’t do a whole lot of walking at the moment. So I’m going to persevere with the Msmate but very slowly. I’m hoping that I will gradually be able to build up strength and stamina so I can stop using the chair indoors. I’ll let you know how I get on with it. Sue

Hello Sue,

It does take a bit of figuring out and its no beauty.

Don’t worry, people soon ignore it. I wear mine in the summer over a shirt with no jumper or jacket and do not feel embarrassed. My MS Nurse and neurology professor were intrigued when they first saw it but now they appreciate how it helps me Persevere, it has extended my walking life by several years

I look forward to hearing how you get on. Contact me via the website, patrick.burke@aid4disabled.com

Patrick

Hello Sue,

How is the Musmate working out?

Patrick

I have gone through 2 ‘foot ups’ (luckily my hospital has provided them) and the orthotic deptm say they really only last a year before the elastic starts to go. Now they have given me a ‘Boxia’ which is a lot better, both the elastic and vel are a cro fasteners are better, and if the elastic starts to fail you can just get this part on its own, I tink its a spanish firm that makes it but I can’t remember the name. If you google Boxis you will find it. Hope this helps

Lynne x