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Cadence Assistive Shoe, a footdrop innovation

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  • Cadence Assistive Shoe, a footdrop innovation

    Pilot Study of Cadence, a Novel Shoe for Patients with Foot Drop

    Publisher: IEEE

    Arlette Evora ; Erinn Sloan ; Sean Castellino ; Elliot W. Hawkes ; Tyler Susko


    Foot Drop is a mobility disorder that limits ankle dorsiflexion, complicating the swing phase of gait and balance. It is a common result of a neurological injury or disease such as stroke, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. Here we present Cadence, a low-cost assistive shoe designed to passively improve the biomechanics and rhythmicity of gait for people with foot drop. The shoe reduces the magnitude of scuffing forces when dragging the foot forward across the ground by using regions of low-friction material that can retract into the shoe to restore friction during stance phase. We report the results from a pilot study of Cadence, which show the biomechanical and performance effects of the device for five adults with foot drop due to neurological disorder. In 3 of the 5 subjects, we found that the shoe immediately improved gait mechanics, speed over ground, and qualitative gait comfort.

    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    Here's a bit more info on this shoe.

    Assistive Shoe for Drop Foot
    Return the cadence to walking
    Project Type: Mechanical Engineering
    Year: 2017

    This team, affectionately referred to as the "shoe team," has been working the entire year on a shoe that will help improve the lives of a large population of individuals. The shoe, Cadence, targets those with foot drop, a common neurological condition in cerebral palsy patients or stroke survivors. It is marked by a personís inability to lift up their toes when they are walking, resulting in them dragging/scuffing their toes and potentially causing them to trip. Most people with foot drop compensate in various ways to avoid tripping or hurting themselves as a result of scuffing. These methods can be uncomfortable and painful, as well as lead to other muscular or balancing problems. Apart from the physical discomfort this condition causes people, their slower, abnormal walking is visible to everyone around them, which can be frustrating to live with. The shoe teamís main goal is to return a sense of normalcy to these peopleís lives.

    Through many brain storming sessions and iterations of prototypes, they have conceived a final design that is fully mechanical and passively actuated. The simplicity of the design makes it as lightweight, safe, and sleek as an ordinary running shoe. The team is currently testing their final prototype with a volunteer who has foot drop to refine and improve the shoe as best as they can. Once complete, they will be working with the school and local companies to put together a patent for this device (and thus have chosen not to disclose any images of the device on this public website). This team is excited about the future of this project and hope to make their shoe accessible to many people.
    Dave Bexfield