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Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

The use of NMES with functional activity or training is referred to as functional electrical stimulation (FES). Drop foot, which is sometimes called foot drop, is a muscular weakness or paralysis which makes it difficult to lift the foot whilst walking. Toes may catch the ground, making it hard to walk and it can lead to falls. FES in the lower extremity leg is used to assist foot drop during the swing phase of walking. Improvements in walking speed and step length have been demonstrated with FES. Although not widely used or universally available, there is growing evidence that treatment with FES can improve walking in highly motivated patients who are able to walk independently or with minimal assistance.

At Rita Henn and Partners the use of NMES and FES are available and frequently used in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), head injury, stroke and other neurological disorders.

The FES device used at Rita Henn and Partners is called Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS®) Pace. The ODFS® is used to increase the foot-lift as well as assisting in minimizing the foot turning out that is frequently seen. ODFS® may also be considered for certain patients due to it’s benefit of reduced effort of walking, reduced spasticity and increased walking speed. In addition, some patients have found improved confidence and independence while walking, greater social interaction and improved quality of life.

The following TES and FES services are available at Rita Henn and Partners

  • TES Exercise therapy in Rehab and at home.
  • TES and Botox™ program.
  • FES screening for appropriateness of treatment and intervention.
  • FES Set up and education for its use at home and in the work environment.

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