FES Mobility

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Having Difficulty Walking?


The ODFS Pace, a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Device: How it helps walking

Functional Electrical stimulation (FES) involves the application of small pulses of electrical current delivered via surface electrodes on the skin to produce a response (contraction) in a target muscle. The muscle contracts because the nerve to the muscle is stimulated by the electrical current.

These photos illustrate use of the ODFS Pace by an individual with left hemiplegia following a stroke. Use of the Pace makes outdoor walking safer allowing users to more easily manage paved surfaces sidewalk curbs, inclines and grassy terrain.

Walking on grass is easier as
the ODFS Pace lifts & positions
the foot for weight bearing.

The ODFS Pace lifts
the foot to clear a
sidewalk curb.

The ODFS Pace improves
heel contact and positioning
of the foot on the ground.

A dropped foot stimulator is a simple but effective method of applying electrical current to the leg to improve movement that has been lost due to stroke, MS and other neurological conditions.

The Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS) stimulates the common peroneal nerve using self adhesive electrodes positioned on the leg just below the knee. Stimulation is timed to the walking cycle using a pressure sensitive switch (foot switch) placed in the shoe, under the heel and connected to the stimulator by a light, unobtrusive wire. Stimulation begins when the heel is lifted from the ground and ends as the foot is returned to the ground. Stimulation causes the foot to lift and assists with the excursion of the leg forward in the stepping motion. Stimulation also acts to stabilize the ankle when weight is loaded on the affected foot.

For the past 20 years, Odstock stimulators have been fitted on thousands of patients in the UK with stroke, MS, brain injury and other conditions. The technology has been shown to provide benefit to individuals with reduced walking mobility due to neurological impairment. Comments from Odstock users regarding benefits they have experienced from use of the technology can be found on the Testimonials Page.

General information that will assist potential Odstock users can be found on the FAQs Page.

If you would like more information to help you decide whether an assessment with the ODFS Pace is right for you, please go to the Contact Us Page.

An assessment with the stimulator will provide the opportunity for you to decide if it is indicated for your particular situation. A gait analysis with stimulation will assist you and your clinician in evaluating the potential benefits to your walking.

If your condition is amenable to improvement through dropped foot stimulation, use of the ODFS PACE will help your walking and will provide a means by which you can take steps (literally!) to improve your mobility and exercise capacity.

Please go to the Referral Page for names & locations of Odstock clinicians in your area. You may self refer and try the Odstock by simply contacting the clinician closest to where you live.

To download a summary with pictures and references on the ODFS Pace, please click here