The DMO Medical e-step® system combines the benefits of dynamic Lycra® splinting with neuromuscular stimulation to correct the effects of drop foot.
The effectiveness of the e-step® comes from the complimentary way in which these two parts of the system work together. The DMO Dorsiflex Sock provides stability to the ankle joint at heel strike. The neuromuscular stimulation provides assistance for lifting the foot to produce a more natural walking pattern which avoids the unnecessary and excessive eversion created by some FES systems.
Preliminary studies have shown that use of the e-step® system can reduce the effort required to walk by 50%.
How it works
Small and carefully timed stimulation signals are supplied to the affected leg in time with the steps. This stimulation activates the nerves and then muscles responsible for raising the foot, causing them to contract, lifting the toes clear of the ground as the leg swings forward.
A more natural gait can make walking easier while imposing less stress on joints, something that is particularly important for developing limb function.
- Drop foot of a central neurological origin (stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injury)
- Other conditions with similar symptoms to Drop foot may sometimes benefit
- Dorsiflexion timed to your pattern of walking
- Extension of the toes for better stability and improved gait
- Ankle stabilisaton through heel strike
- Automatic adaptation to your gait as you walk
- A more natural foot position at heel strike than other drop foot systems
- Comfortable and discreet
- Wireless Bluetooth pressure switch and motion tilt sensor for improved gait pattern
Flexitrode® silicone polymer technology for easy consistent electrode positioning
- Dynamic Movement Orthosis for a more natural stabilised movement of the ankle
- Wireless Bluetooth pressure switch
- Motion tilt sensor
- Gait detection
- Flexitrode® silicone polymer for permanent optimal electrode placement
- Compact fully integrated design
Neuro stimulation unit
The DMO Medical e-step® is a complete drop foot solution that comes supplied with an XFT-2001® neuromuscular stimulator as part of the system. Stimulation is accurately timed to the wearer’s pattern of walking and uses Bluetooth® wireless foot sensor technology or an inbuilt micro-electronic tilt sensor and to detect steps. The system can be set up to use either of these.
The XFT-2001® neuromuscular stimulator used in the e-step® system has a self-tuning function to ensure that whatever footwear is being worn, the stimulator timing will be at optimum setting.
Motion Tilt Sensor
The foot sensor is located in a pocket within the sole of the sock that has a Bluetooth® wireless transmitter which is securely held in an easily accessible pouch. The foot sensor detects when a step is about to commence and communicates with the stimulator to activate the muscles to begin raising the foot. Alternatively the micro-electronic tilt sensor can be used to detect the step by monitoring the position of the leg while walking.
The best method for each wearer will be decided when working with your clinician to set up the system.
Stroke patient Sam Jones has been using the DMO e-step® with great success.
Instead of my foot curling around after each step I can take one step after another more naturally.
The e-step evolved on the basis of patient and multi-disciplinary feedback on their experience of using FES for the treatment of drop foot. It aims to address concern over accurate daily electrode positioning, hygiene and skin irritation and the potential for inappropriate foot positioning. It combines the latest technology with the DMO Dorsiflex Sock.
Preliminary testing of the DMO e-step has shown positive results.
Outcome measures from the first two patients to use e-step can be seen below:
Patient one: female, left hemiplegia from cerebral palsy.
Patient two: male, right hemiplegia cause by stroke in infancy
Measurements were taken during walking:
2.With both splint and FES
Data were captured for 3 concurrent, timed 10m walks with the steps counted and the physiological cost index (PCI) calculated.
The outcome measure results for the combined interventions used in the e-step® system are very encouraging. In addition to reducing walking effort and improving stride, the intervention improved foot position at heel strike.
DM Orthotics Ltd. own trademark, design registration & patents