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Foot Drop Solution Approved for Pediatric Use

Pediatric stroke survivor, Ariana, regains mobility with new foot drop solution.Ariana McGuire was just eight years old when she was hit in the eye with a bow and arrow during a play date. The arrow broke a main artery, causing a stroke. Ariana was rushed to the hospital where she would spend the next six weeks. She was then transferred to a specialized hospital where she would remain for two more months. Since the tragic accident, Ariana has struggled to regain mobility and keep up with her twin sister, now ten years old.

Ariana was one of the first patients in the United States to start using the Bioness L300 Foot Drop System for pediatric patients to help her regain mobility. The L300 is the first FDA approved neurostimulation system for children with foot drop as the result of neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

"Raising a child who is dealing with mobility issues after a stroke is unfathomable,” said Luciana McGuire, Ariana’s mother. “When Ariana was first injured we didn’t know what to expect or how much mobility she would regain. When we found the L300 we were thrilled that Ariana would have a better chance of overcoming her obstacles and limitations with mobility.”

Worn on the leg, the L300 has three main parts: a small wireless sensor in the shoe, a sport brace-like leg cuff worn just below the knee and a hand-held remote control. The three components use wireless communication to "talk" to each other. When an individual initiates a step, the L300 sends low-level electrical stimulation to the nerves in the lower leg which control the muscles responsible for lifting the foot. By lifting the foot at the appropriate time patients may walk with increased confidence, improved speed and reduced fatigue. 

The L300 Foot Drop System main use is by many stroke survivors with foot drop. It can also be used for gait rehabilitation in inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation setting. Clinical benefits include improved mobility, maintaining or increasing range of motion, re-educating muscles, the prevention or slowing of muscle loss and increased local blood flow.

With the help of the L300, Ariana is more confident in her ability to walk and she is able to do things she enjoys such as dancing, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends. Ariana is also using the H200 device by Bioness to help her with regain the mobility of her right hand. At first Ariana couldn’t even open her hand to grab something, but now the movement of her fingers has improved.

Although competition with her twin sister is still difficult, Ariana is continuing to make strides with her mobility every day.

By: Courtesy, Bioness

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"When we found the L300 we were thrilled that Ariana would have a better chance of overcoming her obstacles and limitations with mobility."

FES Foot Drop Solutions

A Functional Electrical Stimulation system activates muscle function in stroke survivors with foot drop, allowing for a consistent stride. FES systems have potential for neuromuscular recovery not possible with conventional braces. There are three FES devices available in the US:

  • WalkAide: A single component system that senses motion of the leg and generates electrical stimulation based on the wearer’s stride.
  • Bioness L300: A three-component system that generates electrical stimulation based on the amount of weight placed on the wearer’s foot during walking.
  • Odstock Pace: A two-component system that generates electrical stimulation based on the amount of weight placed on the wearer’s foot during walking.
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