Forum

WalkAide Device

Hi, I’m interested in this little device (WalkAide) for drop foot. I am not under any physio or neuro but would like to try this out and if it’s suitable, then try to aquire one. Anybody know anything about how I would go about trying one? Thanks

No experience of Walkaid, or Bioness, but find the remarkable FES to be a great help and can be available on NHS. Check out www.odstockmedical.com for more information.

I’ve just been refered for a splint - was through a local organisation’s physio. They have slso refered my to the Astley Ainslie for the FES. I believe some people find one or other beneficial.

Do the wires of the FES not get in the way while using it day to day? It’s available on the NHS you say? hmmm, that may actually be the first port of call then. Can GP’s fit and prescribe them or does it have to be done via a physio?

I find the wires perfectly easy to cope with and much better than struggling to walk without them. My GP referred me to Salisbury Hospital for assessment, but I understand that some local physios have been trained to fit them.

They are significantly cheaper than the American versions and approved by NICE, so should be available on NHS. The MS Trust has lots of decent information.

Oh, and they are currently working on a wireless version.

In practice, I have not found them getting in the way.
Only Odstock Medical, or one of their appointed agents can supply them and it is a set procedure after you have been referred.
You start with an assessment to see if the nerve pathway in the leg is good. The you do a couple of weeks “training” when you fit the electrode patches twice a day, and hook up the control unit and run it in training mode - this stimulates the nerve and muscle - for 15 minutes.
Then you come back to see if a better electrode position is appropriate, and they fit the foot switch, and then you start using it.
One month later, you are back to check the electrode position again, and they give you 3 months worth of electrodes. The next session will be six months later.

That is the way they do it at Odstock.

Points to note is that you have to be referred to them, and the main equipment is supplied ON LOAN. The can check the control unit, and see if you really do use it regularly. Having used mine since early March, I cannot see why anyone would want to give up on it. It takes a little getting used to - switch it off getting into the car - don’t wear it around the shops until you are used to it - suddenly you see the benefit of using it as much as possible.

I was referred by my Neuro, I understand that some Physiotherapist do referrals, don’t see why a GP could not do it.

PM me if you want to know more.

Geoff

Well, I did not write that very well at all.

Assessment. 2 weeks later first full fitting. One month later, second fitting, Six weeks later, the next check. Three months later, the next one. Six months later, another. Then it is every year… Any problems and you ring them.

Geoff

I have an appointment (free as very expensive otherwise) in June in Birmingham sdo we shall see. I just want something to wear with skirts as the wires get in the way.I do find the FES useful.

Watch this space!

Amy