Help For Children With Cerebral Palsy
Jun 7, 2012 - 4:00:09 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every 303 children in the United States suffers from cerebral palsy (CP). If someone you care about is among that population, there is new hope that could make walking easier.
Children and adults with CP often have a form of partial lower leg paralysis or weakness known as “foot drop” that causes an unnatural gait and makes it difficult to walk.
Fortunately, a new medical device the size of an iPod is helping to restore walking ability for thousands of Americans. Worn around the calf, just below the knee, the WalkAide uses electrical stimulation to combat foot drop for those with CP as well as other conditions that cause foot drop, such as traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke and incomplete spinal cord injury. A recent study conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that the WalkAide successfully improves mobility by significantly increasing ankle control during walking in children with foot drop due to CP.
How It Works
The device applies low-level electrical currents directly to the nerve that controls the movement of the ankle and foot, prompting a muscle contraction that lifts the foot at the appropriate time during the gait cycle. It uses sensor technology similar to that in video gaming systems to determine the appropriate timing for stimulation with every step.
Fit For Kids
A pediatric version of the device was recently designed and launched by Innovative Neurotronics after clinicians identified the potential for success within the pediatric population.
The kid-friendly version is made with a smaller cuff and smaller electrodes to allow for a secure fit on young legs, precise electrode placement, and lower pulse-width settings for gentle electrical stimulation options that can be adapted as children grow and mature into adulthood.
Now, physicians can prescribe the appropriate version to patients of all ages. In addition, free clinical evaluations can be had at more than 1,000 orthotic centers and rehabilitation facilities nationwide.
For further facts, visit www.PediatricWalkAide.com or call (800) 551-5109.
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