ActiGait implantable drop foot stimulator in multiple sclerosis: a new indication

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery and
  • 3 Center of Clinical Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Carl-Gustav-Carus, Technical University of Dresden; and
  • 2 Neurologic Rehabilitation Centre, Brandenburg Klinik, Bernau-Waldsiedlung, Germany
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OBJECTIVE

Direct stimulation of the peroneal nerve by the ActiGait implantable drop foot stimulator is a potent therapy that was described previously for stroke-related drop foot. The authors report here successful long-term application of the ActiGait implantable drop foot stimulator in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS

Six patients with MS and 2 years of persisting central leg paresis received an implantable ActiGait drop foot stimulator after successful surface test stimulation. Ten weeks and 1 year after surgery, their gait speed, endurance, and safety were evaluated. Patient satisfaction was assessed with a questionnaire.

RESULTS

In the 20-m gait test, stimulation with the ActiGait stimulator significantly reduced the time needed, on average, by approximately 23.6% 10 weeks after surgery, and the time improved further by 36.3% after 1 year. The median distance covered by patients with the stimulator after 6 minutes of walking increased significantly from 217 m to 321 m and remained stable for 1 year; the distance covered by patients after surface stimulation was 264 m. Patients with an implanted ActiGait stimulator noticed pronounced improvement in their mobility, social participation, and quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS

The ActiGait implantable drop foot stimulator improved gait speed, endurance, and quality of life in all patients over a period of 1 year. It may serve as a new therapeutic option for patients with MS-related drop foot.

ABBREVIATIONS MS = multiple sclerosis.

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Contributor Notes

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online July 1, 2016; DOI: 10.3171/2016.4.JNS1660.

Drs. Martin and Polanski contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence K. Daniel Martin, Department of Neurological Surgery, Carl-Gustav-Carus University Hospital of the Technical University of Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 74, Dresden 01307, Germany. email: kontakt@dr-daniel-martin.com.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

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