A press release:
Justin Ashton, a 40 year old stroke survivor from Kettering has become the first person in the world to be fitted with a new innovative nerve stimulator cuff to help him walk normally again. The Ottobock MyGait Cuff Soft is the world’s most advanced Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cuff of its kind, enabling people with drop foot to walk more naturally again.
The MyGait Cuff Soft is the slimmest FES cuff available in the market. Designed specifically to be easy to put on and take off using only one hand, the unique design is comfortable and breathable. Discreet and effective, the MyGait Cuff Soft could help thousands of people in the UK living with MS, stroke survivors and the effects of brain injury. The device is so discreet that when worn to aid walking, it is barely noticeable.
Justin suffered a stroke whilst working as an electrician. He was on his way to work when his driving became impaired, his speech slurred and he lost vision. He was told he had suffered a stroke and rushed to Kettering General Hospital, however it was days before he realised the full extent of his stroke and the effect it would have on his life. After six months of rehabilitation, Justin still struggled with walking, tripping and falling often due to drop foot, which is the inability to raise the foot due to a weakness in or paralysis of the dorsiflexor muscles in the leg and the foot.
“Following my stroke, I thought my life was over. I was unable to even sit up by myself and had to re-learn all the simple tasks you take for granted all over again,” states Justin. “It would be fair to say I was a fit and active 33 year old when I suffered the stroke; I loved my job as an electrician, I was a keen golfer and would also coach my son’s football team at the weekend. When I was unable to get out of bed it was devastating to not be able to do my daily activities and only be able to see my children when they visited me in rehab.”
He has since become the first patient in the world to be fitted with a new product called MyGait Cuff Soft to treat drop foot. The most advanced cuff-based stimulator on the market, it offers two-channel stimulation – meaning more than one muscle group can be stimulated at one time. In addition, the new technology allows for adaption during sub-phases of gait to improve the way patients walk.
“I’ve tried all sorts of treatments for my drop foot – from orthoses right through to other FES devices on the market and can honestly say the new MyGait Cuff Soft is worlds apart. It’s more comfortable than anything I’ve tried and is slim enough to wear under any of my jeans & trousers, even the narrow ones – which is a first for me! It fits really nicely, is easy to put on and off and has allowed me to go out and do so much more. I have my confidence back and have lost the fear that comes when you’re unstable and immobile.”
The MyGait Cuff Soft works by providing an electrical impulse that is delivered to the nerve which stimulates the muscle into movement. A heel switch sensor communicates wirelessly with the cuff and electrodes to stimulate the appropriate nerve at the right time and frequency during the walking cycle. A unique advantage of MyGait system is that in addition to the dorsiflexor muscles, other muscle groups can also be stimulated using a second channel. This makes it possible to provide additional support when walking. Knee and hip control can be improved by stimulating different muscles with the second channel.
“Drop foot can leave sufferers with complex mobility challenges that effects quality of life and confidence,” states Lynn Vale, MyGait specialist at Ottobock. “We are delighted to introduce this exciting new product to the UK that is helping people like Justin get their life back on track and improving their walking ability. The new Cuff Soft is comfortable to wear and is so slim it is hardly noticeable under trousers.”
The MyGait Cuff Soft is available from leading Ottobock distributors around the UK. Visit the Ottobock website to find your nearest MyGait Cuff Soft distributor.