WalkAide is a medical device designed to improve the walking ability of people experiencing drop foot. It stimulates the typical nerve to muscle signals in the foot and leg, causing the foot to lift at the correct time in the walking cycle. The result is a smoother, more natural and safer gait pattern.
The WalkAide® system was introduced to the UK functional electrical stimulation (FES) market by Trulife in 2008, after many years of development at the University of Alberta, Canada. WalkAide® provides movement and function to those with drop foot of central neurological origin. It is a significant technological advance in neuro-orthotics.
The device can be used by both adults and children.
- One handed application
- Compact unit that sits below the knee
- No orthopaedic or special shoes required
- Can be worn barefoot or with slippers / flip-flops.
- Minimal contact area for enhanced comfort and reduce perspiration.
- May improve circulation, reduce atrophy, improve voluntary control and increase joint range of movement
- No wires involved
How does WalkAide® Work?
WalkAide® uses advanced sensor technology that analyses the movement of the leg and foot. The system sends electrical signals to the peroneal nerve, which controls the foot and ankle. The gentle electrical impulses activate the muscles to raise the foot at the right time during the step cycle, this means users will have a more natural, efficient and safe walking pattern. Users will also have the freedom to walk with or without footwear, up and down stairs and even provides the ability to side step.
It is a small and easy to use device, consisting of a battery operated, single channel electrical stimulator, two electrodes and electrode leads. It is applied directly to the leg, not implanted underneath the skin, so there is no surgery involved. The cuff holds the system in place and it can be worn discreetly under most clothing. The device is fully operable with one hand.
WalkAide is an alternative to traditional bracing and engages existing nerve pathways and muscles. The active stimulation of muscles results in the reduction of muscle wasting and walking fatigue – a common side effect of bracing.
How is WalkAide® fitted?
Each WalkAide® device must be programmed and fitted by a trained clinician. It is not a one size fits all device. It is personalised for every patients individual gait, activity level and foot drop severity.
A Trulife clinician will use software called WalkAnalyst to program the WalkAide to the correct setting which will achieve the best results for the patient.
The clinician will first adjust the electrodes and cuff placement, they will then program the WalkAid setting via the WalkAnalyst software.
WalkAide® is a medical device that can only be prescribed by a clinician. As with all orthoses, a thorough evaluation by our orthortist will determine if WalkAide is right for the patient.