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Thread: The Walk Aide "Miracle in a Box"

  1. #21
    Senior Member Robynbird569's Avatar
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    Good luck IMight and alhavel. Keeping fingers crossed and hope all works out well for yous. Keep us posted.


    Stay safe my son. See you around thanksgiving!

  2. #22
    Thank-you to all who added positive comments. I'm a regular everyday 25 year old... I only did the story to show how hard I worked to get where I am and because I'm proud that I overcame insurmountable odds. I did not intend to upset anyone- or add false hope. This story has increased awareness and will positively influence many people.

    I wish both of you the best... You never know unless you try. Definitely let us know how it goes. Also question your practitioner and make sure they are proficient in programing walkaide. there are not many of us walking around on them. SCI are tricky only because peripheral nerves can easily be damaged during the injury.

    I just delivered a walkaide today for a young man- 5 years post C-7 incomplete. He has alot of problems with spasticity in his knee extensors and has alot of instability. In just a few minutes he noticed the spasticity start to reside. He will return to the office every few days for adjustments and training and will also start physical therapy- but I expect big changes for him as well.

    I have seen many times patients go from walkers and canes to nothing at all- at least for short distances and in the home. Many still feel more comfortable using an aid when walking in crowded places.

    I'm sorry to those who feel cheated by the show. It was not a story on walkaide itself but intended to show the journey I made to recovery. I agree there should have been a better explaination of how it works and who it is ideal for. Its a big step forward- theres no saying what technology will develop next... we can never lose hope or stop living life to the fullest-

  3. #23
    Alhavel- We spoke today on the phone- I didn't realize you were also on this site. Good luck on Friday!

  4. #24
    Senior Member Imight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina430 View Post
    I just delivered a walkaide today for a young man- 5 years post C-7 incomplete. He has alot of problems with spasticity in his knee extensors and has alot of instability. In just a few minutes he noticed the spasticity start to reside. He will return to the office every few days for adjustments and training and will also start physical therapy- but I expect big changes for him as well.
    Just what I wanted to hear. spasticity decrease would be a major plus.

    I already expect it will take some time to get used to, but I'll know right off the bat if it's for me once I start walking with them. I will keep you posted, and you keep up the good work. You looked great, and definately were an inspiration.

  5. #25
    Senior Member mj23's Avatar
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    I met with a person from walkaide and was fitted for the machine and was told that I'm a perfect candidate but I need to stretch out my ankle a lot more. In 3 weeks will try out the machine again. The cost of the walkaide is $4500 but we're gonna see if my insurance will cover it.
    C-5, 6 SCI. Took about 6 months to walk. Walking full time. Without any assistance since Nov. 2003 and will make a full recovery

  6. #26
    Senior Member mj23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina430 View Post
    I found this site after googling my name. I am Tina Mann- the person discussed in the Early Show segment on walkaide. I noticed there were some questions about my injury and how walkaide works.

    I am T10-12 incomplete- 8 1/2 years post injury. I spent 2 years in a wheelchair and was given a 30% chance of getting functional return. I began walking with KAFO's (long leg braces) then slowly progressed to AFO (short leg braces).

    First I would like to say I had a miraculous response to walkaide... it does not do this for everyone- every injury is different and effects different things.

    The purpose of walkaide is to produce dorsiflexion (picking the foot up) when walking... that is all. however in my case it returns proprioception (feeling where my leg is when moving) That is why my response is so great.

    It only works if the peripheral nerves are intact (nerves that branch from the spinal cord)- and the spinal cord itself has to be partially intact (which can happen after the injury) you have to be able to walk- you can use braces, walkers, canes, crutches- but you need to be able to take at least a couple steps.

    I also work as an orthotist- and I fit walkaide on other patients. i would highly reccommend finding a practitioner and having an evaluation. It doesn't cost anything and you will know whether it will work for you. I work in Orlando- for a company called Hanger Orthotics and Prosthetics. hanger has 700 offices throughout the country- you an go to Hanger.com and find a facility near your home (or if you vacation in Orlando swing by my office and I'll work with you for awhile).

    Any more question please ask- I really believe in this product and love seeing it transform peoples lives!

    Tina mann

    "Impossible is an opinion, not a fact"




    I went to hanger in chicago to get fitted for the walkaide yesterday
    C-5, 6 SCI. Took about 6 months to walk. Walking full time. Without any assistance since Nov. 2003 and will make a full recovery

  7. #27
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina430 View Post
    Thank-you to all who added positive comments. I'm a regular everyday 25 year old... I only did the story to show how hard I worked to get where I am and because I'm proud that I overcame insurmountable odds. I did not intend to upset anyone- or add false hope. This story has increased awareness and will positively influence many people.

    I wish both of you the best... You never know unless you try. Definitely let us know how it goes. Also question your practitioner and make sure they are proficient in programing walkaide. there are not many of us walking around on them. SCI are tricky only because peripheral nerves can easily be damaged during the injury.

    I just delivered a walkaide today for a young man- 5 years post C-7 incomplete. He has alot of problems with spasticity in his knee extensors and has alot of instability. In just a few minutes he noticed the spasticity start to reside. He will return to the office every few days for adjustments and training and will also start physical therapy- but I expect big changes for him as well.

    I have seen many times patients go from walkers and canes to nothing at all- at least for short distances and in the home. Many still feel more comfortable using an aid when walking in crowded places.

    I'm sorry to those who feel cheated by the show. It was not a story on walkaide itself but intended to show the journey I made to recovery. I agree there should have been a better explaination of how it works and who it is ideal for. Its a big step forward- theres no saying what technology will develop next... we can never lose hope or stop living life to the fullest-
    Tina, I just wanted to say that it was very clear in the segment that you worked really hard to get where you are today. I'm an L1 injury, 15-months post, and am still working hard with the hopes that I can walk as well as you do now. Unfortunately for me, devices like the WalkAide won't work (I'm a LMN injury), but I wish they would!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  8. #28
    This is the danger of posting clips/articles without comment. Tina, please accept my apology.

    I watched the segment on the Early Show and I was thrilled for you. It's obvious that you've worked hard to get the level of recovery that you've experienced and the WalkAide is your "miracle in a box" as the segment said. You did a great job of telling your story.

    IMIGHT, I did think of you as I watched the piece. After seeing you walk, I can see how this device may give you that boost you're looking for. I too hope to one day gain enough function so that I can benefit from this device or something like it. I'll take my walking any way I can get it.

    My frustration is that "regular" peeps watched this story and think that it's going to "cure" everyone. I've gotten 7 copies of the clip in my email telling me that this too will be my miracle. In public I've been asked if I'm going to "get one of those things so I can walk." In my local market, the CBS segment ran the same week as a local NBC story on a man so determined to walk that he did several fundraisers and now has enough money to go to Costa Rica and pursue his dream. grrrrr.

    The media is so eager to create good news stories that they eschew the entire truth for their storyline. In the end I think that this creates false impressions of the state of treatments for SCI and the complexity of the situation. I'll admit that I'm in a particularly cranky phase right now, so I see slights everywhere.

    On a different note, Tina, how does it work? How do you control it? Will it remain effective or will your muscles adapt to the stimulation and impact the effecacy of the device? Please post more about your experience.
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

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  9. #29
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    Jen ,

    In response to this story I'm going to give it a try, now seems like the time for me. I did get to talk with Tina and will say she is extremly knowledgable about WalkAid. I do wish she would write some more about it, she knows it very well.

    I'm also looking at the Biioness, and I'll have to try both to see if, or which one works for me. I talked with the local Hanger people last week and am going in on friday to try it. Like you said "I'll take my walking any way I can get it. "

    With other things just going into clinical trials it could be years, this will do for now if it works. As for the man going to Costa Rica, I hope he is doing the hamock and Pina Colada thing.

    And you are right about regular people, they just won't get it nor understand. That's the media for you.
    Last edited by alhavel; 07-28-2009 at 02:39 PM.

  10. #30
    You are all amazing- and an inspiration to me. I never really interacted with anyone who had a "disability" I went through the first 5 years of my injury not understanding why I couldn't get my muscle strength back- I was naive and didn't know what I was up against... i was and still am extremely stubborn. I credit those things for allowing my body to recover. I 100% expected my legs to work again.

    I spent 2 years straight sitting in my chair and trying to figure out how to make my leg twitch, or tingle, or do anything that made it feel like a part of me again. I begged my physical therapist to get me leg braces to lock my knees so I could stand at my high school graduation... Insurance denied them because of my prognosis. Why cover braces for a girl who will never be able to stand. So I paid out of pocket for post-op hinged knee braces that I locked in extension and pulled myself up holding on to my counter and just stood there and tried to make a connection. I learned to throw my body around in such a way that could "walk" in them. At that point insurance agreed to cover KAFO's- I was the first person to have bilateral stance control knee joints. after getting those braces I put my wheelchair in the garage and refused to sit in it- even though it took me so much longer to get around, if i wanted to go somewhere bad enough I had to walk. After a short time- i began to get functional return. I slowly weaned myself off KAFO's to AFO's. All this took over 5 years.

    I fell in love with the field of orthotics and decided i wanted to make it my career. Plus I was sure I could come up with a better brace design for me... (So far i can't). I learned about walkaide while in school for orthotics. It was NOT expected to work for me because of my level- they were sure it had LMN involvement. But again my stubornness paid off I had an eval. To everyones surprise and my own as well it worked. I owned them within a week of the eval- the response was that amazing to me.

    I walk as well as I do with them because it returned proprioception, plus it forces a normal gait pattern.

    We are told it doesn't work for LMN conditions. However... nerves do grow back- 1mm a month. I have seen it work years later in patients with footdrop from low back injuries and other conditions involving peripheral nerves. the nerve only has to be attached by a tiny bit in order to send the signal. i've now started testing everyone- reagrdless of condition. The worst thing that happens is the patient learns it isn't for them.

    Walkaide uses a tilt sensor and accelerometer to measure where the leg is in space. It is programmed to turn on when the leg is in swing and turn off when the foot is on the ground. It uses the same technology as nintendo wii video game controllers. As was stated early it can not be used if you have a pacemaker or metal directly under the elecrode sites (neck of the fibula). You need a letter from your doctor if you have seizures or cancer. It is also not reccommended during pregnancy.

    Sorry about the novel... I hope it helps some. Please ask question if you have any. And thank you for your kindness. I didn't realize how painful it can be to read negative comments (NOT from this site- other sites have been down right mean- saying I'm faking- or paid for this- or don't deserve to be walking and should go back to my chair) So I apologize if I came across as harsh- i guess the comments got to me.

    The media focuses on feel good stories or tragic ones- they leave out facts and leave it up to those interested enough to research it more. i had plenty of people come up to me when I was in my chair and tell me exactly what I had to do to recover- all completely bogus.. and it was very frustrating to have to listen to it all. So for those who know walkaide isn't for them- I'm sorry my story added all the well wishers who just don't understand your injury. i wish they could understand

    Tina
    Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
    Last edited by Tina430; 07-28-2009 at 10:34 PM.

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