A foot stimulator device - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/5/10

A foot stimulator device

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By Karin McCay| email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –Sue Wetzel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 9 years ago when she developed foot drop. That's where one foot wouldn't lift up to step forward. It was a problem that caused her to fall a lot. Many M-S patients experience foot drop, and like Sue, they may be helped by a foot stimulator device that prompts patients to walk more normally again.

The device is not new, but as more patients suffer from foot drop, they may not know that the Bioness L300 is perhaps the tool that could get them comfortably mobile again. The Bioness L300 electrically stimulates the foot, which gives it the lift it needs to take a normal step.

Sue Wetzel says that she "would always try to hold onto something because i was afraid if i tripped, i would fall on him...i love teaching, and it gives me hope to continue hopefully for a number of years." Orthotist, Butch Loveless calls it, "a life changing experience for patients, it really is. What the L300 does is when the weight comes off the heel it stimulates the nerve via the cuff and picks the foot up, when the weight is back on the heel it shuts the device off."

Traditionally, patients have used foot braces to treat foot drop, and they have come a long way over the years. They keep the foot at a 90 degree angle, so walking up hills or stairs are difficult. The Bioness L300 makes it possible to walk at an incline with a wide range of motion. The device can also help stroke victims, and people with traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. The Bioness L300 costs about 6 thousand dollars, and here in Lubbock, Dr. Roger Wolcott says the Bioness L300 has been around just long enough now for some to be re-sold and re-furbished. Those are available at half the cost, and most insurance companies will now provide some help with the cost.

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