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Thread: El. operated foot plates to increase circulation in legs

  1. #1
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    El. operated foot plates to increase circulation in legs

    Here is a story on an invention and some illustrated pictures brought to my attention by a spinal cord injured from over here I would like to communicate to others.

    The idea of this invention is to increase blood circulation for spinal cord injured people’s legs with reduced/limited movement to prevent problems such as blood cloths (venous thrombosis) etc.

    The idea is from a person living with tetraplegic (quadriplegic) spinal cord injury for several years. I will not use the persons name here, but I will try to explain the invention in English language.

    -With an invention by a single motor operating the foot plates on an electrical wheelchair a tetraplegic over here was able to increase blood circulation in legs and foots.

    After several serious issues with blood cloths (thrombosis) and reduced circulation, the invention by the tetraplegic in discussion was stated on a major hospitals vascular department (over here), “-the invention improved the circulation in this person’s legs.” The person now has much less swelling in the legs/foots and the legs are not that cold in the evenings.

    The person in discussion has made an invention so that the foot plates on the wheelchair moves slowly up and down approximately 3-4 centimetres (2-3 inches).

    On the backside-side of the foot plates on the wheelchair a small electrical motor is attached. The motor rotates a shaft that runs trough two bolts. The bolts rest on the foot plates behind the foot plates, and rotate thereby along with the shaft at the rear edge of each foot plate.

    But, the genius trick is that the shaft runs trough the bolts a little off the centre of each bolt (eccentric rotation). Thereby the bolts become a little “ticker on one side then the other”, and a slow up-and-down movement occurs on the foot plates. The front of the feet’s (toes position) thereby gets an up-and-down movement 3-4 centimetres (2-3 inches), relative to the ankle joints. These movements also make it so that the thigh’s on the person moves slowly up-and-down 1-2 centimetre (1 inch).

    With an electrical switch system on the armrest on the wheelchair the person can start and stop the motor. And if the person doesn’t switch it off, the inbuilt electronics automatically turns off the el. motor after 10 minutes. Normally the person starts the up-and-down system one time per hour.

    The background for this was the person in discussion had to do something due to many years with a high cervical spinal cord injury with no muscle leg signalling and subsequent inactivity got a serious blood cloth in one of his thigh’s main veins. This due to the low oxygen blood was not properly transported back to the heart by leg muscles for oxygen supply along with lymph drainage issues, and the legs got swollen, skin become reddish and hard. -Blood cloths (venous thrombosis) are bad stuff, and in worst cases can lead to infarct and death, like us SCI’ed has heard about and some knows the dangers of, among other issues with bad leg circulation.

    After several examinations and failed efforts this person had to be put on the operation table to have a stint installed - a synthetic shaped cylinder – installed trough the venous system where the last narrowing was. But, the surgeon told the person that the risk was that new blood cloths most likely would occur if the person didn’t get increased movement - one way or the other - in the legs. The surgeon also said that really not much was required, just so that this person got some regular ankle and toe movements to help, and that such movement would help a lot.

    As a summary: All this resulted in that the person in discussion contacted a company, which had delivered his current front wheel drive Balder electrical wheelchair. And together with some technicians and engineers from another shop this person came up with the idea of the foot plate movement invention. And as mentioned above, this solution on this person’s problem (no scientifically trials are done) showed and increased circulation in the legs, confirmed by follow-up vascular specialist at a major hospital.

    Others having the same original problems as this person also now use this invention/add-on solution, and this person knows several that uses it with good success. It’s not on the marked, not sure it will be, but if others want some info I am sure the person in task and others would be glad to help, glad to help as for ideas to others on other el. wheelchairs as well. This is not a moneymaking effort by the person in discussion, just to help others.

    And as I mentioned above, the invention is not scientifically proven, as such, but the doctors at the hospital that claims it is a good thing – it is a well renowned large hospital over here - the person I got it from is also serious folks, and to me, it seems plain logical. And if some are interested in more details, I’d be glad to help to put you in contact for more details about this. Just PM.

    Hope it is of any interest and that it can help some spinal cord injured peoples with such and similar problems. I post this in the care forums, cause I think it could be good care, but (mods) feel free to move to forums benefiting most. Ohh, and sorry for spelling

    Below image shows the up-and-down motion (side-view). Text in native on all images, but I guess one get the picture.
    Last edited by Leif; 07-19-2008 at 05:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    This image shows some of the mechanics involved.

  3. #3
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    This image shows the up-and-down motion (front-view).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Cool Leif! Looks like a great invention!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mona~on~wheels
    Cool Leif! Looks like a great invention!
    Tnx Mona, and I think it is cool, but not mine idea, -I just brought it to the forums here if it could help some SCI’ed.

  6. #6
    Not clear to me if motion involves the whole foot (i.e.: leg up and down) or the ankle only (i.e.: toes up and down) or both.

    Will Balder sell these footrests?


    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio
    Not clear to me if motion involves the whole foot (i.e.: leg up and down) or the ankle only (i.e.: toes up and down) or both.

    Will Balder sell these footrests?


    Thanks!
    Hello Antonio,

    I have not seen this equipment personally but as I understand the motion is the most at the front of the foots (toes), and here the motion would be around 3-4 centimetres. The ankle is relatively stabile. And when one foot is moved up, the other is moved down. This again also will result in that the thighs moves up and down around 1 centimetre or so.

    The supplier of the Balder wheelchair in Norway will sell this equipment, but I do not know the cost, I don’t think they either have any brochures on it since the invention is new, but if you like you can send them an email. Here is a link to Hand-Pro who sells the Balder wheelchair over here. Email address at right bottom corner on link. They might have some detailed drawings etc. Maybe also just copy one of the images in this thread into the email so they know what one is asking about. http://www.handpro.no/default____5318.aspx

    Hope it helps.

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