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Thread: The Walk Aide "Miracle in a Box"

  1. #41
    I had my evaluation today. It went OK. They only tried it on my right leg.

    Right off it seemed to work about the same as an AFO. I think with some gait training work and tuning of the Walkaide, it would be an improvement for me.

    I am interested in trying the Bioness as well.

  2. #42
    Junior Member
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    Tina430-How does the walkaide work with KAFO's with the entire leg held straight? We are currently working with KAFO's and doing well.

  3. #43
    Dixie- mom: Its best to use walkaide with a hinged knee brace as opposed to a kafo. If thats not possible the ankle joint needs to be free motion- meaning its a simple hinge which allows the foot to lift up and down freely. the joint is only for ankle stability. The best knee joint is a stance control joint- which allows the knee to bend during swing but locks during stance. It thats not possible a locked knee can work also. The ultimate goal is to allow the mucles to strengthen to the point that KAFOs aren't necessary. Programing will be tricky but possible if you have a good practitioner. Its tricky to answer completely without a diagnosis and some background info but I hope that helps some.

  4. #44
    A paraphrased convo with my very patient, very professional orthodist.


    "Hello Jen, I need to readjust your expectation cuz this thing absolutely won't work for you, you're complete. Besides, Medicare won't cover it."
    Me:"hmmm, humor me, I have realistic expectations."
    O:"well, you don't understand and medicare won't cover it."
    me: "better than you think, I've read the studies and talked to people. I'll find funding. Humor me."
    Him "OK, you're wasted my time and medicare won't cover it you complete and stubborn idiot"
    Me: "just try it"

    he does..... and literally jumps backward. some more blah blah blah and then
    "your pathways are open and functional. You are A PERFECT CANDIDATE for the Walk Aide Medicare won't cover it."
    Me: (carefully avoiding the I TOLD YOU SO) "so how does this change our plan.
    Him... a couple of attempts at language then "You've just completely confounded me. I dont know what this means. If your only issue was knee to ankle WE'D HAVE YOU WALKING IN A WEEK OR SO but with the hips and knees.... hmmm, we're going to have to talk to some people and think for a bit. Medicare won't cover it.' he leaves....

    Comes back with the team doing my test sockets. him" Once we can get you up on the bars, we should see if we can get you walk like you do in the pool. maybe just knee braces and WalkAide and with some luck and work, you'll be able to WALK FULL TIME. It'll be a lot of work and we'll have to see where you are but yeah maybe......"

    So, I don't know where I am exactly or what happens next but my test sockets were adjusted and will be sent out for fabrication. In the mean time, I'll hit the gym and work on getting my body as strong as possible so that I'm as ready as I can be. My goal is to cross the finish line at this year's half marathon on my feet. We'll see.

    Maybe that Walk Aide is a miracle in a box...hmmm
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  5. #45
    Jen, you are something. I'm in Awe.

    I don't understand how he determined your pathways were open.

    Jessica's doctor at Barrows labels her as incomplete because she now has muscle movement below the level of injury. They had her labeled complete before and from ASIA rating she is still considered complete. Sounds like you can get an "incomplete" label and then maybe Medicare will pay.

    Please keep us informed how this works for you. Jess doesn't have any contractions with e-stim so I figured it wouldn't benefit her.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by gcblarsen View Post
    I don't understand how he determined your pathways were open.

    Jessica's doctor at Barrows labels her as incomplete because she now has muscle movement below the level of injury. They had her labeled complete before and from ASIA rating she is still considered complete. Sounds like you can get an "incomplete" label and then maybe Medicare will pay.

    Please keep us informed how this works for you. Jess doesn't have any contractions with e-stim so I figured it wouldn't benefit her.
    When he put the electrodes on my leg just below my knee on the outside, my foot started pulsing with the current. I responded aka the pathways are open.

    I'm still ASIA A. I have no anal wink but obviously I do move -- not very strong but I do and I can build muscle mass below my injury. I've done it in other research studies.

    I think we need the medical community to stop equating ASIA A with "hopeless" it's just not true. But, that label stands in the way for many of us. He never would have tried the device on my leg if I had just quietly gone away.

    Are you and your family going to join us in the half-marathon this year? It's 13.1 miles that you can walk in under 4 hours. Last year we raised $6K for RIRC, this year I hope we'll do in excess of $15K. There are about 6 people comitted so far.
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  7. #47
    Jen, First of all congratulations! I am so happy it worked for you. Your story sounds incredible- I hope they are able to come up with a system that allows to effectively use walkaide. I've seen some ingenious people come up with some very neat combined knee orthosis/walkaide combos. I don't know where your strength is but I really hope you make your goal of completing a half marathon. I also have been toying with the idea of training for a long distance race of some sort. I feel like I have so much more to accomplish still.
    Please keep me posted on your progress. I would love to hear another success story. I hope walkaide can be your miracle in a box too!

    And I'm glad you pushed for the eval- I don't think anyone truely grasps what effect Walkaide has on the human body- especially one that is damaged. I really believe (and this my own scatter brained idea- no theory at all) that the body wants to recover and knows what has to be done. it's just an matter of perseverance, time and the right tools.

    All the best,
    Tina
    Last edited by Tina430; 08-29-2009 at 10:57 AM.

  8. #48

    Thumbs up

    Wow! I am so excited about this new discovery ......... or new to ME anyway! My adult daughter, Karen, is a walking T12 incomplete with drop foot. She had her horse related accident in 2001. An article was in our local newspaper this morning about the WalkAide and someone with MS walking with it. It would seem like a miracle if this could help her. Karen started in a wheelchair, KAFO's, AFO with canes, etc. She now walks with one leg brace but has many falls due to her drop foot. It sounds like she would be a good candidate to try this out. Apparently they are $4500.00 (for one) here in Canada. I am so excited to tell her about this.

    Good luck to everyone. I hope it works for all of you.
    Darlene www.karenbrain.ca

  9. #49
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenJen View Post
    A paraphrased convo with my very patient, very professional orthodist.


    "Hello Jen, I need to readjust your expectation cuz this thing absolutely won't work for you, you're complete. Besides, Medicare won't cover it."
    Me:"hmmm, humor me, I have realistic expectations."
    O:"well, you don't understand and medicare won't cover it."
    me: "better than you think, I've read the studies and talked to people. I'll find funding. Humor me."
    Him "OK, you're wasted my time and medicare won't cover it you complete and stubborn idiot"
    Me: "just try it"

    he does..... and literally jumps backward. some more blah blah blah and then
    "your pathways are open and functional. You are A PERFECT CANDIDATE for the Walk Aide Medicare won't cover it."
    Me: (carefully avoiding the I TOLD YOU SO) "so how does this change our plan.
    Him... a couple of attempts at language then "You've just completely confounded me. I dont know what this means. If your only issue was knee to ankle WE'D HAVE YOU WALKING IN A WEEK OR SO but with the hips and knees.... hmmm, we're going to have to talk to some people and think for a bit. Medicare won't cover it.' he leaves....

    Comes back with the team doing my test sockets. him" Once we can get you up on the bars, we should see if we can get you walk like you do in the pool. maybe just knee braces and WalkAide and with some luck and work, you'll be able to WALK FULL TIME. It'll be a lot of work and we'll have to see where you are but yeah maybe......"

    So, I don't know where I am exactly or what happens next but my test sockets were adjusted and will be sent out for fabrication. In the mean time, I'll hit the gym and work on getting my body as strong as possible so that I'm as ready as I can be. My goal is to cross the finish line at this year's half marathon on my feet. We'll see.

    Maybe that Walk Aide is a miracle in a box...hmmm

    It'll be on GMA tomorrow morning.


    CBS) A new device is changing the lives of thousands of Americans who have lost the ability to walk.

    The WalkAide is about the size of an iPod and uses technology similar to what makes a Wii videogame work. It sends electrical impulses to the nerves and muscles of the lower leg, enabling its user to pick up hir or her foot. The WalkAide can restore mobility for people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injuries, according to "Early Show" correspondent Dr. Debbye Turner Bell.

    She said Wednesday the WalkAide costs about $5,000 for people who pay out-of-pocket. But, Bell says, this year, Medicare has started covering the cost for people with spinal cord injuryies and some private insurance is also covering the device on a case-by-case basis.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/22/earlyshow/leisure/gamesgadgetsgizmos/main5180169.shtml

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