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Hemiplegic Gait Improvement with Dropped Foot Stimulation

July 04, 2019

A 1999 study on stroke gait by Taylor et al., reported a mean 20 % gait speed increase in hemiplegic patients with use of the Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS). This finding has been supported in additional stroke gait studies comparing gait with and without FES intervention.

Gait speed data obtained using APDM Mobility Lab is presented here on a sample of Canadian patients assessed for and fitted with an Odstock dropped foot stimulator. Results of this sample support previously published studies but with additional findings that:

  • slow hemiplegic walkers (baseline speed < 0.2m/s) can benefit significantly from stimulation,  > doubling baseline walking speed with a dropped foot stimulator
  • hemiplegic walkers in a faster but < normal walking speed category also gain significantly from stimulation with increases of 50%, 40% and 23% per initial baseline walking speed (see graph)

While hemiplegic gait outcomes will undoubtedly vary, current clinical evidence of the effect of FES in improving hemiplegic gait speed at any level of walking & its potential to  improve the functional walking category (e.g. indoor only vs outdoor walking) confirms the value of the intervention in stroke rehabilitation.


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