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About Functional Electrical Stimulation

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Neurorehabilitation and Functional Electrical Stimulation

Injury to your brain or spinal cord, either by trauma, stroke or multiple sclerosis, can lead to a loss of movement or function, making it difficult to cope with everyday life.

We can help you on your way to recovery – and in many cases regain lost function – with our innovative neurostimulation technology.

More commonly known as functional electrical stimulation (FES), functional electrical stimulation systems activate your nervous system using electric impulses so your muscles do what you want them to do. It’s been used in medicine for decades, including for rehabilitation after a stroke or for patients with multiple sclerosis, and it can also be used to improve your mobility on an ongoing basis.

FES is recommended by both NICE and the Royal Colleage of Physicians as an effective treatment for drop foot (dorsiflexor weakness). This is a common problem, particularly after stroke, that can affect your walking and general mobility.

How FES works

FES can either work indirectly, with electrodes placed on the surface your skin, or directly on your nerves using implanted electrodes. If you would like to know more about FES treatment for stroke or MS related drop foot and walking problems, please refer to the FES leaflets by the Different Strokes and MS Trust.

With an FES system, when you lift your foot, a switch under your heel transmits a wireless signal to a stimulator, which in turn activates nerve pathways controlling the muscles of the lower leg. This provides a controlled lifting of your foot and toes at the right moment as you’re walking. The result is a smoother, safer and faster gait, and a reduced risk of falling – so you can step out with confidence.


Drop foot (dorsal flexor weakness)

Drop foot (sometimes also called dropped foot or foot drop) is caused by missing nerve signals to the leg and foot muscles, making it difficult to properly lift the foot and toes when walking.