Fes for foot drop

I’ve been suffering from MS since 1999 and it is 7 years since I have experienced dropped foot problem. My left foot doesn’t work properly and I’ve kept on stumbling. In 2011 the Italian NHS provided me with a plastic device, called MOLLA DI CODIVILLA, that is used to mantain my foot up.

It is rigid and the foot cannot move: it is like putting your foot in plaster cast. So your muscles don’t work anymore and it is not easy to put it in shoes.

I couldn’t bear it and I started surfing the net to look for other solutions.

I found out the functional electrical stimulator : FES. It is largely used in England, Germany, USA but in Italy.

It is a device that, thanks to 2 electrodes put on the peroneal muscle, a light switch pasted under your shoe sole and a little electric box gives the electrical impulse to your muscle so your foot can actually move without dropping, giving you a more natural gait.

The advantages are that you can put the switch easily in every shoe and the muscle is stimulated so it remains active. I found out different ways to wear the FES putting the little box on boots, under the knee and in the jeans pocket, so I can wear sandals, boots, skirt or even bikini, even with the FES.

I use the Odstock Medical one, provided by the Salisbury hospital (UK).

I also tried the German Ottobock and the Ness, but I think they are too big and you cannot change the place of the electrodes at your convenience according to how you would need your foot to move.

With Ottobock and Ness the medic pastes the electrodes on a support that you put around your calf.

Your own investment

Thank you for sharing this @tamarafuma, and welcome to OpenCare community.

I don’t know much about FES, but looked it up on wikipedia.

Are you using a commercial device (I saw they are pretty expensive at 5-6000 USD) or did you find a cheaper variant?

Is there anything community members around here can help with? Let us know if you’re looking to learn something specific or just to share your experience, and hopefully we can be useful somehow.

Dropped foot stimulation

Many people surviving a stroke or living with multiple sclerosis are having difficulty of walking. Partly because they have lost control of the foot movement. When we walk we automatically lift the toes  of the ground or we will have a dropped foot (left picture).

The stimulator above is providing a more physiological way to correct this issue (right picture). The device is very simple and once the price was only around 300 euros. Now they have become quite expensive as @Noemi found out :wink:

Thanks for the precise clarification.

Appreciated! I do hope @tamarafuma and researchers like you Rune can find a more and more powerful voice advocating for more suited tech - the arguments you listed in your other post seem solid, as well as the solution - [as I understood it] if they’re too expensive and or not provided by hospitals, we have enough of advanced research to make them more available ourselves.