A London man who has been unable to walk unaided since childhood has become the first person in the UK to be fitted with a revolutionary computer-controlled leg brace.
Unveiled for the first time in Germany in 2012 the “C-Brace Orthotronic Mobility System”, or “C-Brace”, has been launched in the UK to help people living with partial paralysis due to incomplete spinal cord injury, post-stroke and post-polio syndrome, walk naturally again.
After having contracted polio on his 2nd birthday, which left him unable to bend his leg, the 63 year-old yesterday became the first patient in the UK to wear the device.
Despite undergoing numerous operations and having tested a wide range of braces, supports and therapies, he has until now always had to rely on his original steel calipers.
Designed using world-class prosthetic technology, the computer-aided exo-skeleton combines the science of mechatronics – the same type of technology that has revolutionised the world of bionic prosthetic limbs – and allows people paralysed through disease and trauma to benefit in the same way as amputees for the first time.
Using built-in microprocessors and sensors, which allow the knee to control the entire range of walking movement, the carbon-fibre C-Brace is designed for those who can’t bear weight without collapsing, and can be worn on either one or both legs.
The device measures the position of the knee 50 times a second and constantly adjusts its stiffness to match leg movements, allowing users - who have no control of their legs - to walk naturally, cycle, negotiate stairs and descend slopes at a normal walking speed.
An incomplete spinal cord injury does not extend across the full width of the nervous tissue within the spine, meaning only part of the spinal cord is damaged and the ability of the spinal cord to convey messages to or from the brain is not completely lost.
People with incomplete spinal cord injuries retain some motor or sensory function below the injury, meaning they may have sensation below the injury site but no movement or vice versa.
Spinal cord injuries are relatively rare in the UK with an average of 1,000 new cases sustained every year, or three per day. Of these, the vast majority are caused by a one-off incident of trauma involving falls, road accidents, assaults and sporting injuries.
The remaining non-trauma cases involve amongst other factors, clinical negligence, viral infections and diseases such as polio, spinal stenosis and cancerous tumours on the spine.
Sustaining a spinal cord injury has massive physiological implications that people have to learn to manage. One way to secure funds to manage your injury and help put your life back together is by obtaining compensation if another party was at fault.
Claims Direct Personal Injury Lawyers deal with spinal cord injury claims on a No Win No Fee basis and offer a free consultation.
Call Claims Direct 24/7 on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start a claim online and we'll be happy to help you.