Electrical Stimulation Restores Mobility to Young Boy with Cerebral Palsy
August 13th, 2012
From CBS DFW
From CBS DFW
11 year old Matthew Hurt isn’t just walking better these days. The North Texas boy’s running, jumping and riding have improved as well, all thanks to a device the size of an iPod.
Shortly after a premature birth, doctors diagnosed Matthew with mild cerebral palsy. He’s developed cognitively like any other child his age, but the cerebral palsy resulted in weakness on his right side. That led to a condition known as “foot drop” which causes a person to drag the toe of the shoe on the ground or slap the foot on the floor.
This caused Matthew to have an unnatural gait, and made it difficult for him to walk without tripping and falling. And as a result, that made it hard to keep up with his friends.
However, doctors recently fit Matthew with a medical device. It’s called the WalkAide. The device is worn around the calf, just below the knee, and uses electrical stimulation to combat foot drop and restore mobility to people like Matthew.
Since wearing the WalkAide, Matthew’s gait has improved significantly. He can walk faster and farther before getting tired. He’s also able to keep up better with his friends when he’s on the golf course playing his favorite sport.
The WalkAide can also be used in patients living with traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and some spinal cord injuries.