The partners in EUREKA project E! 2526 IMPULSE have developed an implanted nerve stimulator which helps patients with drop foot to walk much better. Over 500,000 people suffer from a stroke each year in Europe and 10% of stroke victims are left with drop foot, which causes severe walking problems.
Drop foot is a chronic condition, often caused by a stroke which is characterised by the inability to raise the foot during the swing phase of walking. People affected tend to have a laboured and unsafe gait, and suffer from fatigue which further reduces their speed and the distance they can walk.
The current approaches for dropped foot correction have significant drawbacks. “Either the ankle joint is fixed by a brace, or electrical stimulation is applied to a nerve in the leg through electrodes attached to the skin surface. The electrodes must be placed accurately, which is difficult, painful and time consuming,” says Professor Dr Hermie Hermens, cluster manager at the Dutch lead partner, Roessingh Research and Development BV.
Paul McCallum | alfa
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