WalkAide: Helping You Get a Leg Up on Foot Drop

WalkAide is a medical device that, after more than a decade in development, has received marketing clearance from the FDA for improving walking ability of people experiencing foot drop.
Foot Drop is a condition caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot, which causes a person to drag the toe of the shoe on the ground or slap the foot on the floor.

Foot drop (also called drop foot) can result from peroneal nerve palsy or from damage to the central nervous system such as stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. The WalkAide is designed to assist with the ability to lift the foot for those individuals who have suffered an injury to their central nervous system. The WalkAide is not designed to work with people who have damage to the lower motor neurons/peripheral nerves.

Invented by a team of researchers at the University of Alberta, WalkAide uses functional electrical stimulation to restore typical nerve-to-muscle signals in the leg and foot, effectively lifting the foot at the appropriate time. The resulting movement is a smoother, more natural and safer stepping motion. It allows faster walking for longer distances with less fatigue. In fact, many people who try WalkAide experience immediate and substantial improvement in their walking ability, which increases their mobility, functionality, and overall independence.

Advanced Technology That Is Easy to Use

A sophisticated medical device, WalkAide uses advanced sensor technology to actually analyze the movement of your leg and foot. The system then sends electrical signals to your peroneal nerve, which controls movement in your ankle and foot. These gentle electrical impulses activate the muscles to raise your foot at the appropriate time during the step cycle.

Although highly-advanced, WalkAide is surprisingly small and easy to use. It consists of a battery-operated, single-channel electrical stimulator, two electrodes, and electrode leads. WalkAide is applied directly to your leg — not implanted underneath the skin — which means no surgery is involved. A cuff holds the system comfortably in place, and it can be worn discreetly under most clothing. With the WalkAide’s patented Tilt Sensor technology, most users do not require additional external wiring or remote heel sensors.

Customized For Your Individual Walking Pattern

WalkAide is not a one size fits all device. Rather, a specially trained medical professional is needed to fit and customize WalkAide for you. Using WalkAnalyst, a multifaceted computer software program, the clinician will tailor WalkAide to your individual walking pattern for optimal effectiveness.

Exercise Mode for Home Use

WalkAide is an all-inclusive device with a pre-programmable exercise mode that allows you to exercise your muscles while resting for a set period of time as prescribed by your doctor.

WalkAide Provides the Following Advantages for the Patient:

  • Easy one-handed operation and application
  • Small, self-contained unit that attaches to the leg below the knee
  • Does not require orthopedic or special shoes
  • May be worn barefoot or with slippers (upon approval of your healthcare provider)
  • Minimal contact means minimal discomfort with reduced perspiration
  • May improve circulation, reduce atrophy, improve voluntary control and increase
    joint range of motion

WalkAide is a neuroprosthetics device that channels electrical stimulation to the leg and foot in order to restore typical nerve-to-muscle signals, effectively lifting the foot at the appropriate
time. WalkAide is among the most celebrated and highly regarded neuroprosthetics innovations
available today because many people experience immediate and substantial AQ improvement in their walking ability.