Question About Para Walking

I’d really like to learn if anyone has had any experience, personally or through friends, with walking with braces.

This summer I met a para like myself, in good shape, thin, petite with good arm muscles. She was able to walk with braces for some distance, though she used a chair for long distances.

She was able to get up by herself without help because the braces locked with gravity, and when she sat down, she was able to unlock one knee and then sit and unlock the other.

It was kind of exciting for me to see this.

I have tried to use braces in the past and failed because of an unrelated physical problem, which would require some elective surgery to correct,

So the project would be a major one in terms of time, pain and energy and may well not be worth it.

I tell myself that I am the same person I was when I could walk,. But---you know-- the thought of standing up straight and proud is a rather overpowering one.

I’d appreciate any ideas at all.

Martha1982 Martha1982
26-30, F
8 Responses Jan 8, 2013


Silverdalton and Jonmartin:

Thanks for the feedback and let's keep this dialog going for ourselves and others who may have the same problems.

So far, I have no pain at all ( then again, no feeling in many places either) and tomorrow I am going to try a remote thingee that lets me unlock the braces without bending over. This would permit me to be able to sit and then unlock without having to have someone kneel in front of me and unlock for me.

I am very glad to be amoung the walking again! Just being able to go to a home or a restaurant without worrying about whether my wheelchair will fit through the bathroom door makes it all worth while.

There seems to be a different reaction to me too, without the wheelchair.

I have and use braces but it is very painful and exhausting. I was in a very intense Christopher Reeve research program at Shepherd ctr in ATL. Where I would walk assisted on treadmill for a minimum of 60 min then with a walker for another 60. The program helped build up some muscle but the braces I have are so big and heavy it almost makes walking harder. In the program I was in I tore my maniscus and ACL in my left knee so I almost have to wear if walking. They make the e-stym bands that go around your ankle and above your knee if you have the strength in your trunk these are a lot better option because I was in a research program they did not even give me that option. Overall braces will help but they are painful and exhausting there are better options out there. They have been doing a lot of research on exoskeletons within the next couple of years they will actually be affordable I have seen these used at shepherd they are awesome to say the least.

And if you want to talk about this, I use marthacvermont on yhoo messenger.

THanks to all who have encouraged me at this. It is SOOOOOO worth the effort.

I went out for the entire evening last night without the wheelchair and it was very terrific.

I am getting better and better at walking and for a para who has a low enough severance to learn to do this, it is a whole different world.

Just to put on one of my old dresses and not look big-in-the-*** from sitting in the wheelchair made it worth while!

I'm happy for you

I have braces, hadn't used em in years though. I remember going to church with em on one day, you can imagine the response, happy to see you happy.

Eric : p

Great progress!

My report:

It is worth the trouble!.. I am able to walk with a swing thru gait, as least for a while, and have mastered getting up from a wheelchair or a seat. I find it very liberating and very very convenient. For the first time, I can get into some places.

I still need help in unlocking the braces when I sit down, but that is not a defect in the braces, it's from my other unrelated deformity and its not a big deal.

Would appreciate all feedback and help. I am able to walk a little but I still cannot get up from a sitting position without help. I need to lock my wheelchair and then have someone pull me up and lock the braces. I can sit down in a sofa or other 'soft landing' but it is a struggle to unlock my braces then and get into a sitting position.

It is good to be upright but very depressing that this seems to be all there is. I don't like needing help

you gotta work on your upper body strength, are you using crutches or a walker?

Hi! and thanks everyone for the input, especially those who gave me extensive info and encouragement.

I have been measured for my braces, and recovered from the surgery needed to use them (a relocation of my stoma so that the braces wouldn't interfere and i could get to it with the braces on)

more later but I really wanted to thank and appreciate you all!!

I already past the physical test for my brace at my therapy clinic I'm just waiting to the insurance approved it, I'm very happy because be standing again make me feel like I'll walk again