LONG BEACH, California, Oct. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Nine out of ten patients with lower leg injuries prefer using an orthotic device to traditional underarm crutches, according to the first comparative medical study of its kind.
The research, led by orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon Kevin D. Martin, DO, and published in the October edition of Foot and Ankle International, looked at 44 pre-operative foot and ankle patients in the US. Each patient was randomly assigned a device where a series of tests were carried out, before they crossed over to the other device. At the end of the exercise 86% said they preferred the orthosis – a hands-free single crutch, brand name iWALK2.0 – to standard axillary crutches.
Just 7% reported discomfort using the device, compared to 68% who complained of axillary / hand pain using standard crutches. It was associated with less fatigue and labored breathing, and a smaller change in heart rate.
The report states: "The results of the current study in our relatively healthy cohort found that foot and ankle patients who were non-weightbearing preferred the hands-free single crutch over standard axillary crutches. They experienced less physiologic demand as well as discomfort and perceived less exertion."
The authors also note: "Further research is needed to help establish clinical practice guidelines and empower providers to prescribe assistive devices based on individual patient physiological and environmental needs."
Nearly 3 million Americans use mobility devices. The iWALK2.0 offers an alternative for most people with lower leg injuries or illnesses. First developed by a farmer who broke his foot but needed to work, it's now a carefully engineered, award-winning FDA, CE and Health Canada Class 1 Medical Device, sold in 30 countries. It costs $149 for patients to buy directly.
Brad Hunter, President of iWALKFree, Inc (www.iwalk-free.com), comments: "This is the first time our device has gone head to head with traditional crutches and the research has proven it to be superior in patient preference and key clinical measures. Patients and clinicians frequently tell us the iWALK2.0 is associated with less muscle atrophy, higher patient compliance and improved physical and mental wellbeing. We hope this brings new awareness and understanding in the medical community of the benefits of the device, and how it can be a better alternative to crutches or knee scooters."
SOURCE iWALKFree, Inc