Trials underway in the US
Kickstart is a new device designed with a pulley system to use and support the wearer’s own energy. It works without expensive electronics.
The Kickstart Walking System is an orthosis intended for individuals with lower extremity weakness – particularly in the hip flexors and ankle plantarflexors – and poor endurance, secondary to neurological injury or disease. This device is new in the US with trials being offered in various cities in the US and Canada, but is not yet available in Australia.
Who can benefit from the Kickstart Walking System?
It’s designed for those who have difficulty walking independently, especially if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty lifting your knee
- Catching your toes often when taking a step, even while wearing a brace for foot drop
- Lack of endurance – fatigue after walking short distances
- Difficulty with coordination, balance or stability
- Circumduction – tendency to swing your leg out to your side (instead of straight forward) in order to take a step
- Step-to Gait – stepping forward with one foot and bringing the other to meet it
Ideal candidates for Kickstart are those who have:
- The ability to initiate at least one step (with use of walker or crutches if needed)
- Good core strength (back/abdominals)
- The ability to stand up straight for two minutes (with only slight assistance from a walker or crutches for balance)
Other requirements include:
- A strong motivation to walk
- A strong, motivated support structure from family and caregivers
- Severe knee flexion contractures
- Severe quadriceps weakness
- Cognitive impairments.