MyGait surface stimulator
The surface stimulator for dorsiflexor weakness
A step forward
MyGait activates the fibular nerve in case of dorsiflexor weakness. This is done using functional electrical stimulation (FES). Your foot lifts again – always at just the right time. This can make walking much easier and conserve your strength, since movements become more natural and you have to concentrate less on walking.
MyGait can be put on with just one hand. This is especially useful when one side of the body is paralysed. The surface stimulator is inconspicuous under clothing and you can start using it even in the early rehabilitation phase.
You wear the heel switch in a sock fabricated especially for the purpose, which only encompasses the posterior section of the foot. You can walk almost barefoot. The heel switch recognises when you touch the ground and what walking phase you are in. It informs the stimulator over a wireless connection, which then triggers lifting of the foot at the right moment.
The stimulator is positioned in a cuff you wear on the lower leg. It can be put on with one hand. There are electrodes in the cuff that send electrical pulses to the fibular nerve. This activates the muscles, causing the foot to lift.
Benefits at a glance
Look ahead again
Natural movement patterns are much easier for many users with MyGait. They walk faster and are able to cover longer distances. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) has been proven to improve safety while walking. Patients also report that they are able to climb stairs and walk on uneven surfaces. But most importantly of all, many users no longer have to concentrate as much on every single step. Their foot lifts at the right moment, leaving the mind free for new thoughts and impressions.
Fast to deploy
With just one hand – MyGait is easy to put on. The precise positioning of the surface stimulator on the lower leg will be explained to you by your medical specialist or orthopaedic technician. The heel switch is secured under the heel with the special sock. Communication between the cuff and heel switch is wireless without any need for cables.
From the early rehabilitation phase
You can easily try out the surface stimulator with the help of a therapist, doctor or orthopaedic technician. This allows you to quickly determine whether functional electrical stimulation (FES) is the ideal solution for you. MyGait is suitable for gait training, especially during early rehabilitation. MyGait also trains the lower leg musculature – and strong muscles make walking even easier.
In addition to the dorsiflexor muscles, another muscle group e.g. on the thigh can also be stimulated with MyGait. This makes it possible to give additional support for walking, for example with knee extension or hip flexion. With what is known as the adjustment tool, your orthopaedic technician or therapist can influence the exact movements as well. This is used for example to determine the stimulation intensity and duration.
This is how the foot is lifted
Key elements of MyGait are the heel switch and stimulator. They work together to lift the foot.
1. The sensor in the heel switch is activated when the heel is lifted.
2. The heel switch sends a radio signal to the stimulator.
3. The stimulator sends electrical signals to the nerve via electrodes.
4. The foot is lifted.
Four technological steps to take one step – they happen so fast that you almost cannot notice them. The signal to lift the foot comes from MyGait surface stimulator instead of the central nervous system (CNS).
What the physiotherapist says
Esther Bruecker is a physiotherapist and trainer for neurostimulation at the Ottobock Academy in Vienna. She tells us:
"It is always fascinating to see the patient and observe how he or she walks with MyGait. Some advantages of the MyGait are that there are no wires to bother the user and that it is possible to climb stairs and walk on uneven ground. It also allows leg movement in the stance phase; the ankle is not restricted."
The stimulation system facilitates dorsiflexion of the ankle in patients with foot drop resulting from illness or injury to the upper motor neuron (for example due to a stroke, brain trauma, multiple sclerosis, central paralysis or incomplete spinal cord injuries). During the swing phase, electric stimulation induces dorsiflexion of the affected leg, thus improving the patient's gait pattern. The stimulation system can prevent or delay atrophy caused by inactivity, maintain or improve the range of motion in the joints and promote local blood circulation.