Like i said yesterday I was at lucky enough to go to the Neuro convention at the Excel centre in London on 7th June. It was an amazing experience seeing all the new developments in technology that can help people with physical disability to gain more independence.
One of the stands that I went to, infact spent the biggest amount of time at was a company called Talarmade (www.TalarMade.com twitter-@talarmade Facebook-TalarMade) Talarmade special in orthotics. And this was what interested me:
Here is a little bit of what the website tells you about it and then I will tell you what how I felt wearing it.
The TurboMed FS3000 AFO is a revolutionary new treatment option for drop foot. It’s unique patented design acts as an exoskeleton to the impaired limb and provides the user with unparalleled levels of function without discomfort or rubbing.
The FS3000 is a custom build modular ankle foot orthosis (AFO) made from highly durable thermoplastic (warrantied for 2 years). It attaches to the outside of footwear and quickly and easily interchangeable from shoe to shoe.
Unlike many other AFO’s, the FS3000 does not prevent ankle plantarflexion or limit dorsiflexion, making it easier and much more comfortable for patients to walk and run on slopes, stairs and uneven surfaces.
Right now my review. This is one amazing bit of kit. First of all its so lightweight and that was with it already attached to a trainer. It wasn’t an eyesore to look at but to be fair even if it was I wouldn’t care and I’ll tell you why.
For 2 years since my aneurysm I’ve been trying to find the best equipment to help me to walk again as I have a drop foot and it also turns in ( I can’t remember the scientific name).
So I have a silicone boot made by the NHS which is moulded to the shape of my foot and keeps my foot in the correct position but it isn’t very flexible, obviously it’s not really meant to be that flexible but when trying to walk up steps it isn’t that easy.
I’ve used a FES machine to stimulate the nerves in my leg to lift my foot which has worked in the past but it isn’t constant. Even when i draw around the electrodes on my leg so that they are in the same place everyday. When it works it’s great and I feel like I’m walking normally but then the next day it doesn’t and it’s so frustrating. Also with all the wires you can get a bit tangled up.
So we come to the FS3000. Well it’s brilliant. Like I was saying it’s sooooo lightweight. I was talking with Simon (clinical director) and he helped put the trainer on my foot. Well…….the FS3000 is incredibly flexible and still so supportive. Once my foot was in the trainer and the velcro was secured Simon told me to go for a walk around the convention. So I took my stick and off I went. Within minutes I had forgotten that i was wearing it. I wasn’t focused on where I was walking or how my foot was placed. I could look at what was on the other stands and not worry. I was leading with my heel. Walking like I used to. When I went back to the booth I didn’t need to say anything as the big grin on my face said it all. I even walked around without my stick! Here is a little video:
I could feel my hamstring and calf working. I had less stress and tension in my left leg. While standing there and talking I could feel my centre of gravity was back where it should be……….in the centre. I wasn’t leaning to my left I was standing level. In such a small amount of time the FS3000 had changed my walk, posture and energy levels. It’s one amazing bit of equipment. There really isn’t anything else to say about this except if you’re a patient speak to your doctor/physio/orthotist or if you’re in the clinical profession get in touch with Simon and his team (firstname.lastname@example.org).