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  • Paul posted an update 1 year, 2 months ago

    Really unsure of how this Forum business works – plenty of possible entry points but nothing much happens.
    Hope this is now working.

    In reply to Ed,
    My “artificial muscle” is a strap of rubber (“Theraband”) which is attached at my wast belt at the back, loops down under my foot under tension and back to my belt at the front. This rubber strap has its maximum tension when my leg is straight and my foot is on the ground – IT MAKES MY LEG WANT TO RISE. I only need to use it on one foot (at this time) but it even allows me to still play tennis (though foot-speed limited). I could not play tennis without it as I would trip and fall.

    That is the basic principal but I employ several connection refinements to make it work better – easier to attach and more comfortable when put into greater tension and therefore to work better.
    I have made a harness whose two straps go over separate shoulders and attach themselves together at my belt, front and back. This takes the load of the tensioned rubber from my wast belt to my shoulders. I also use a 50mm wide leather strap to make a fixed hoop about 200mm diameter. My shoed foot goes into this so that the strap positions under the shoe at the instep. The rubber travels from my rear wast belt connector down the inside of my leg, through the “hoop” at my instep, in front of my ankle, back up the outside of my calf, behind the calf to cross behind the downward rubber then up to the front belt connector.
    A benefit is that this crossing of the rubber strap provides support behind the leg to lessen hyperextension (to some degree)

    I use hikers straps and plastic connectors available from camping stores. This makes the apparatus very quick and easy to use and adjust.

    This device should have an elegant simplicity about it so I hope my description allows this.
    I’m thinking of making a Youtube presentation but have not got round to it yet.

    Hope you can make sense of this as it has been most worthwhile for me – I can even now walk on grass and wrongly sloping footpaths without tripping.
    Indoors I don’t wear it all the time so another tip I find useful (without the apparatus) is to place 2 or 3 extra innersoles in my RIGHT shoe to effectively make my left leg shorter and thus lessen the likelihood of catching the ground.
    I also put 40mm wide SHINY, strong plastic adhesive tape around and UNDER my left shoe to lessen the catching effect on the floor or carpet.

    Hope this helps
    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      It looks as if you figured out how to make things work, both with the forums and with your foot drop!

      Thanks for all of the detail. Interestingly, your concept is similar to something that I tested about two years ago. It’s called a NewGait and it was created by an engineer in California and a physical therapist in Michigan. Here the website: https://www.thenewgait.com/.

      I use a BioNess L300. It worked well when I got it, about 6 years ago, but it doesn’t do as well as it once did at creating the lift that I need. Maybe I’ll try your innovative suggestion of the innersoles in my right shoe to help.

      The NewGait is significantly less expensive than the Bioness or the custom made AFO that I once used. However, I found it cumbersome. It took too long for me to get into, and out of, it and I didn’t like walking about with the harness and bands. I don’t intend to sound negative. I’m sure a lot of people will be helped by it, and by your design. It just wasn’t for me.

      Good luck with it,

      Ed

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