MuSmate a walking aid for footdrop

MuSmate a walking aid for footdrop

MuSmate a walking aid for footdrop

I have foot drop in my left leg. When the problem started to be an issue I used the MuSmate a walking aid for foot drop. It stops me dragging my toes along the ground and tripping me up. Without the mechanical elastic device called a Musmate I could fall over very easily when walking. The Musmate is a wonderful solution to the problem as long as you still have a reasonable sense of balance. As soon as you rely upon a walking aid for your balance then it is time to think again.

MuSmate a walking aid for footdrop

The MuSmate concept is very simple. Imagine a pair of braces attached to a belt. From the belt or hip to the shoe there is an elastic strap. The left leg is the one with foot drop. So I take a step forward with my right leg. The elastic will now stretch and lift the my left foot off the ground as I take a step forward with it. The lift is just enough so the foot does not catch on something and trip me up.

I have multiple sclerosis

One result can be foot drop. The result of damage to the myelin sheath protecting the nerves in the spinal cord that that conducts the message to stimulate the muscles in the foot.  I now have difficulty lifting the front of my foot when I walk. The MuSmate lifts the whole foot. This now gives me more independence and a better quality of life.

More detailed explanation

Why is the MuSmate so good?

It is a walking aid. The action of walking involves swinging one leg forward while the balance remains on the other leg. As my left leg, the one with foot drop, swings forward the elastic cord of the Musmate streches. This helps to lift the leg at it bends at the knee and prevent the foot droppinging forward at the ankle. This prevents the front of the foot dragging along the ground.

How can you obtain a Musmate?

At the moment you cannot get the Musmate on the NHS but it is very easy to buy through the internet.

Articles from the BBC

BBC Devon 2006

BBC News April 2006

Life after the MuSmate

My drop foot became progressively worse and worse thanks to MS. My balance also got worse and worse. Eventually the MuSmate had to be replaced with a Functional Electrical Stimulator (FES). An FES sends an electrical stimulus to the muscle. This stimulates it to contract, it helps my balance I started using a MuSmate in 2005. I ‘upgraded’ to an FES in 2014.

January 2014

3 responses to “MuSmate a walking aid for footdrop”

  1. Janet Ward says:

    I live in France. I was diagnosed with PPMS in 2008. Now, in late 2019 with a very gammy right leg, I can walk up to 60 metres using a walking stick, but it is very uncomfortable (and would lead to a 2 hour sleep).
    I have a foot-lifter incorporated in my right orthopaedic shoe, which does much to correct the foot drop problem. I have sessions at a rehabilitation hospital every six months, and last time they taught me to do crab-walking, going sideways along an exercise bar in both directions, say ten times in each direction. This helps me to have better balance, greater strength in both my legs and body, and has made a considerable difference to my well-being.(By the way, my neurologist has four or five patients with PPMS. She says that all the rest are confined to wheelchairs after 3 or 4 years because they do not ‘tolerate’ the medicines. My physio says it’s because I make the effort and persists with exercising. Him indoors says it’s attitude, determination!)
    And yes, I use a ‘baby walker’ in the house and garden, and have a Travelscoot (since 2009) for outdoors/shopping.

  2. […] bought a MuSMate in 2007, this helps to lift the leg with foot drop as I […]

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