​Austin, Texas – Innovative Neurotronics, Inc., the development and commercialization subsidiary of Hanger Orthopedic Group, is proud to announce its WalkAide technology has earned the product endorsement of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). An award-winning functional electrical stimulation technology, the WalkAide combats a form of paralysis known as “foot drop” caused by multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and incomplete spinal cord injury.

“Following a product review by physical therapists, the Board Committee to Review Product Endorsements (BCRPE) and staff, we determined that WalkAide clearly may assist physical therapists working to restore mobility to patients with foot drop. As experts in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives, physical therapists are pleased to endorse WalkAide,” APTA President Scott Ward, PT, PhD said.

A recipient of the coveted National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s da Vinci Award for Adaptive Technologies, the WalkAide is improving gait and restoring mobility to thousands of people suffering from foot drop. Applied by physical therapists at hundreds of rehabilitation centers nationwide, the WalkAide is valued as both a useful therapy in clinical treatment protocols, as well as a consistent mechanism to promote multidirectional mobility and restore a natural gait pattern to patients at home in their everyday environment. Additionally, when compared to other functional electrical stimulation technologies, there are physical therapists that report increased patient compliance as a result of the absence of a required heel sensor.    

“Since the launch of the WalkAide in 2006, physical therapists have served an invaluable role in our efforts to restore mobility and independence to people with foot drop,” Innovative Neurotronics Vice President & General Manager Aaron Flores, PhD said. “Product endorsement of the WalkAide by the APTA further inspires us to continue on our shared mission of optimizing patients’ gait through the advancement of restorative therapies and technologies.”

With the February 2010 launch of its new Bi-Flex Cuff, the WalkAide provides patients with increased comfort, ease of use, and consistent, reproducible outcomes. Designed to maximize the functionality and precision of the patented WalkAide tilt accelerometer (the same motion-tracking technology used in the Wii video gaming system), the Bi-Flex Cuff includes improved aesthetics, a new latch attachment system, a unique dual durometer construction (rigid side to ease one-handed donning / doffing, soft side to conform to the leg for total electrode contact), and a vented design that allows for increased air circulation and better breathability. The new electrode locator feature helps patients achieve the same optimal results at home as when their therapists position the WalkAide in a clinical setting.

The WalkAide and new Bi-Flex Cuff will be available at the APTA Annual Conference and Exposition in Boston, June 16 – 18, booth #1301.

About the WalkAide – An intelligent functional electrical stimulation (FES) system, the WalkAide restores mobility to people who suffer from a form of lower leg paralysis known as foot drop due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and incomplete spinal cord injury. About the size of an iPod and worn around the calf just below the knee, the WalkAide applies low level electrical currents directly to the peroneal nerve (i.e. the motor nerve that controls the movement of the ankle and foot) and instruct the muscles to flex the foot at the appropriate time in the gait cycle. It uses Bluetooth technology to communicate during programming and a patented tilt accelerometer. For more information, visit www.walkaide.com.