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Carbon Brace vs. Step-Smart Brace for Drop Foot

Video Transcript:
Brian came to our office with these carbon graphite designs.

I did notice these in your magazine, Big Company Epsilon, but anyway, these are, I guess, the standard for drop foot. But it does help the drop foot, but it causes limitations in so many other areas. So, your toes cannot go up or down because there’s no hinge here. It’s welded in place. And for people with drop foot, as I do, I’ve lost the muscle in the front of my leg. And this pad has to be tight, or it doesn’t work at all. In fact, it’s worse than nothing at all because you have to deal with the slack. Going up and down a slight incline is a problem, kneeling, turning is a problem because there’s no mobility.

Here’s Brian taking his first few steps with a bilateral set of Step Smart braces.

I was trying to put my head on what was different. Uh, they’re not as stiff. They’re more comfortable. I feel like I can stand still better. The other night, I was out in the parking lot meeting someone for dinner, and I had to go to a car because I couldn’t stand up because it was dark, and I couldn’t see the gravity. So, so yeah, I do like these. Um, I could not do that. I just went up on my toes, which is great because—and I’m not sure—one of them saw it. So, if I was going up this slope, it’s the most embarrassing thing with my carbon ones because I have to do this because my feet—so already I’m seeing an angle and my feet—see, I just did that. That’s pretty impressive. I’ve never been able to do that with my feet before.

Yes, this is a good product.

Yeah, this feels good. I feel less disabled than I did before. I feel like I have my feet back because I can angle my feet up and down. They’re not welded in place. And something that’s unheard of is for me to bend down like this. I can’t do that with my braces because my knees are locked into place because my ankles are locked in place. So, I can bend down and get something whereas with the brace—my other brace—I actually have to go like this: get down, pick it up and get back up. I do a lot of push-ups, but now I can bend down and—I went at an angle—which I can’t do before because just—I’ve locked in place.

And I do have some functioning muscles from the knees down, but my welded braces don’t let me use them. So, I’m worrying that my deficits are increasing because I’m atrophying those muscles. I’m walking backwards. I’m turning. I’m going back. It’s just… it’s transformative. I, because I just… I’ve been Frankenstein for five years, so I’m really, really pleased. And going up and down hills, I couldn’t do it before. I had to scoot up like I couldn’t move my feet. And this is lifting my drop foot, so it’s doing that and then everything else. So, I’m just very pleased. I can’t wait to have it and use it all day long, because that’s the other thing: I feel like I’m wearing slippers. If you wore my braces, you’d say, “Oh gosh, this strap in my calf is killing me and my feet are killing me because there’s not enough arch support.” I feel like I’m wearing slippers right now. When I come home, the first thing I do is take them off. I feel like I come in here, the first thing I do is put these on because they feel better than my regular feet. Anyway, I’m very pleased, as you can tell.

I’m walking backwards; I’m turning; I’m going back. It’s just—it’s transformative. Because I just—I’ve been Frankenstein for five years. So, I’m really, really pleased. Uh, and going up and down hills—I couldn’t do it before—I had to scoot up like—I couldn’t move my feet. And this is lifting my drop foot so it’s doing that and then everything else. So, I’m just very pleased. I can’t wait to have it and use it all day long because, that’s the other thing is I feel like I’m wearing slippers. If you wore my braces, you’d say: “Oh gosh, this strap in my calf is killing me.” And my feet are killing me because there’s not enough arch support. I feel like I’m wearing slippers right now. When I come home, the first thing I do: take them off. I feel like when I come in here, the first thing: just put these on because they feel better than my regular feet. Anyway, I’m very pleased as you can tell.

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