Stein et al. Long-term therapeutic and orthotic effects of a foot drop stimulator on walking performance in progressive and nonprogressive neurological disorders. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2010 Feb;24(2):152-67.
BACKGROUND: Stimulators applying functional electrical stimulation (FES) to the common peroneal nerve improve walking with a footdrop, which occurs in several disorders.
METHODS: Subjects with nonprogressive (41) and progressive (32) conditions used a foot drop stimulator for 3 to 12 months while walking in the community. Walking speed was measured with a 10-m test and a 4-minute figure-8 test; physiological cost index (PCI) and device usage were also measured. The subjects were tested with FES on and off (orthotic effect) before and after (therapeutic effect) stimulator use.
CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with progressive and nonprogressive disorders had an orthotic benefit from FES up to 11 months. The therapeutic effect increased for 11 months in nonprogressive disorders but only for 3 months in progressive disorders. The combined effect remained significant and clinically relevant.