Anyone tried FES?

Hi everyone,

I am a 39 year-old male with AMN and associated walking difficulties. My specialist suggested that I try FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) in order to see if it makes walking easier. This involves placing pads on my legs in order to stimulate the muscle on the front of my shin when I walk so I pick up my feet better. After 3 consultations, I have had the system about half a week so far and while it appears to work (the electric current certainly picks up my feet), I find continuous use becomes uncomfortable relatively quickly (a few minutes) and thus I am not sure if it actually helps much.

Has anyone else on here tried this treatment? Did it help? Do you still use it and if so in which situations do you find it most useful?

Thanks

Angus

6 Replies

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  • I used to love TENS/EMS/FES.

    I used them so much I have over sensitised my skin. I get electrical burns instantly now.

    Placing the electrodes over my Peronial nerve would eliminate foot-drop.

    I have read, however, FES is no better than a rigid orthosis.

    Mind how you go with that electrickery. No laughing matter, the burns.

  • It's only been 4 days and while my skin has been fine [thus far], after 30mins of intermittent use I am walking as if I am on hot coals as if my feet are very sore. The pain disappears instantaneously as soon as I turn the thing off, but then it needs to stay off.

    Will stick at it for now, but thanks for the warning. I am also going to give the orthosis(e?) another go.

  • I have used FES for 7 years now and have no problem with my skin or pain. The tingling sensation does take a bit of getting used to. I go to Odstock Hospital Salisbury . Where do you go?

  • I go to NHNN in London. Odstock are their supplier. Good to hear that you've stuck with it!

  • Keep going and if you need to talk about it let me know.

  • I've had mine on both legs for about 4 years now (also at NHNN). Not had any problems skin irritation or foot pain. I find it generally uncomfortable if I've been wearing it all day. It definitely does help but over the years as my legs are getting slowly worse it is less effective. I've got the wired (free!) version. Looking at the wireless foot switches the insole looks plasticy and very uncomfortable. I understand they have just updated the wireless version to get rid of that problem although I haven't seen them yet. The wires are annoying especially when wearing jeans.

    As I said it definitely still helps and I would give it a couple of months to get used to it. If the new wireless version looks good I would think about shelling out the money for it.

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