The term dorsiflexor weakness is not commonly known. But the symptoms it describes are familiar to many. It occurs primarily after a stroke, when one side of the body is paralysed. When walking, the arm hangs down and the foot can be moved forward only with a great effort. This is also called drop foot. For persons with dorsiflexor weakness, every step requires high concentration because the tip of the foot can easily get caught on the floor. Just a stone or a small uneven spot can be a big obstacle. Many swing the leg forward using the hip. This requires more effort and leads to bad posture, which may result in back pain. Persons with dorsiflexor weakness quickly become fatigued
when walking. They often avoid long distances and gradually withdraw from social life – then dorsiflexor weakness can considerably impair their quality of life.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) with MyGait lifts the foot at just the right time in the gait cycle. The gait becomes faster and more efficient. When you use MyGait, you can once again concentrate on other things and enjoy the moment – just observing life around you.
The MyGait electrical stimulator device is attached on the surface of the lower leg. It can be easily applied with just one hand. You fasten the cuff on the lower leg and wear a heel switch under your foot in a special sock. The heel switch senses when the foot leaves the ground. It sends this information to the stimulator in the cuff wirelessly, which in turn stimulates the nerve via surface electrodes. This nerve stimulates the muscles to lift the foot. At just the right time.
Many technical steps for one step? – They happen so fast that you don’t notice them. The signal to lift the foot comes from MyGait instead of the central nervous system.
The following central nervous system injuries can lead to dorsiflexor weakness.
2. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
3. Incomplete paraplegia
4. Traumatic brain injury
MyGait can improve your gait. It often helps patients walk faster and for longer distances.
Since you concentrate less on your steps and do not have to watch the ground so often, your mind
is free for other thoughts, conversations, new impressions and for simple everyday things. In
addition, the muscles of the lower legs are exercised with MyGait. And strong muscles make
walking even easier.
MyGait can be fitted by your clinician. If desired, the device can be adjusted so that the heel switch
is attached to the unaffected leg. You can finetune the stimulation settings yourself using the
remote control. We recommend charging the device every night. If you sit for an extended
period, for example in a theatre, you can switch the device to sleep mode to save energy. A tip for
cleaning – you can wash fabric components of MyGait by hand.
Patients report the following benefits of MyGait:
- Lifts the foot at the right time
- Improves walking speed, pattern and confidence.
- Makes it possible to walk greater distances
- Requires less concentration on gait
- Easy to apply with one hand
- No orthopaedic or special shoes required
- Easy, individual adjustment using the remote control