Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bioness - Treatment for Foot Drop in Multiple Sclerosis

Saw this article and couldn't resist sharing it with you. I purchased this product a short time ago and have noticed some real changes in my walking.

Foot drop, for anyone who doesn't know, is a symptom of multiple sclerosis, in which it is difficult to lift the front part of your foot. Sound like a minor problem?
Try walking or driving with foot drop. In fact, foot drop can lead to a huge decrease in quality of life and an increase in disability.
In multiple sclerosis, foot drop occurs because the message from the brain to "lift" doesn't make it all the way to the foot. The foot itself is just fine, just waiting for "orders".Bioness has designed and released a device that bypasses the brain.
By putting a sensor on a shoe, the device "knows" what the foot should be doing when someone is walking. The device then signals a second device, strapped to the calf, that has the ability to stimulate the nerves and cause the muscles in the calf to "operate" the foot.
I can't endorse the product outright, but this seems like a very plausible way of dealing with foot drop and I am encouraged that there are developments in the treatment of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Devices cost around $7,000 and right now I have no idea if insurance would cover that cost.



Lisa Emrich said...

There has been much more buzz around this device since the press release and Today Show spot.

I was at PT last week and a patient asked our therapist about the Bioness. She was a little less than enthusiastic, stating that if footdrop were the ONLY problem one has, then it could be very helpful. But that many people have more problems than just footdrop.

I'm glad that it working well for you though. That's great.

Cathy said...

A year ago it would not have worked well for me. I had a hip that was very locked up and we had to get that working better before I could or would invest in this device.
I am a very skeptical person and had to see the results for myself. The person who was on the Today show is my friend. I saw her when she started with the Bioness and saw her walk down the aisle a year later. I cried when I saw her results. My results have been nowhere close to hers but I am happy I bought it.

Lisa Emrich said...

That's so cool!! Quite an expensive investment but one which obviously is working for you. Good.

Ken said...

started bioness on right foot about three weeks ago...legs get tired in u know how long the woman on Today Show used the device before she was able to walk the way she was walking..thanks

Unknown said...

Hi Cathy,

My son has a foot drop due to spina bifida occulta. I saw the Bioness for the first time on Today Show News. I was soo excited with the possibility of him using it. He is just 9 years old and uses an AFO on his left foot. The device is really fantastic. This month I started a blog to help raise funds to buy it. My blog is
So, I just wanted to say that the Bioness will give my son the freedom to be a regular boy.