Bioness - Treatment for Foot Drop in Multiple Sclerosis
Foot drop, for anyone who doesn't know, is a symptom of multiple sclerosis, in which it is difficult to lift the front part of your foot. Sound like a minor problem? Try walking or driving with foot drop. In fact, foot drop can lead to a huge decrease in quality of life and an increase in disability. In multiple sclerosis, foot drop occurs because the message from the brain to "lift" doesn't make it all the way to the foot. The foot itself is just fine, just waiting for "orders."
Bioness has designed and released a device that bypasses the brain. By putting a sensor on a shoe, the device "knows" what the foot should be doing when someone is walking. The device then signals a second device, strapped to the calf, that has the ability to stimulate the nerves and cause the muscles in the calf to "operate" the foot.
I can't endorse the product outright, but this seems like a very plausible way of dealing with foot drop and I am encouraged that there are developments in the treatment of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Devices cost around $7,000 and right now I have no idea if insurance would cover that cost.
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