We have talked about devices that assist people with foot drop, but what do you do when your leg becomes so weak in the hip flexor or knee flexor muscles that you can not lift the leg well enough to bring it forward while walking or going up and down steps? Or if you fatigue so rapidly that you can not walk for more than a short distance? One possible solution is the Hip Flexion Assist Device (HFAD) shown in this picture.
Essentially this is a strong weight lifting belt with two attached elastic bungee cords that attach to your shoe. Make sure you order the type with a horizontal connecting strap that goes behind the knee. The mechanical principle of the device is simple; extending the leg at the hip loads the bungee cord so that when you attempt to bring the leg forward, the cord contracts and helps lift the leg at the hip.
Now it may not be the most attractive contraption but it does work and is relatively cost effective. You will need a prescription from your doctor and some training on the use of the device by your physical therapist. If you are interested in learning more, go to the following site for information: http://www.beckerortho.com/AffiliatedCompanies/BTMRehab/Btmhfad.html
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