Investigating the Use of the WalkAide on a Child's Ability to Ascend/Descend Stairs and Curbs

  • End date
    Jul 26, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Blythedale Children's Hospital
Updated on 26 March 2022


The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of the WalkAide, a Neuroprosthetic device, on a child's ability to ascend/descend stairs and curbs. It is hypothesized that with WalkAide use, the improved ankle control achieved, will affect the speed, symmetry, and independence of completing the task.


The investigators will examine the use of the WalkAide, a Neuroprosthetic device, on a child's ability to ascend/descend stairs and curbs. It is hypothesized that with WalkAide use, the improved ankle control achieved, will affect the speed, symmetry, and independence of completing the task.

Study subjects will be fitted with the WalkAide by Physical Therapists trained in this procedure. Subjects will build tolerance to the device over a two-week period, and use as able for the next six weeks. The children (participants/subjects) in the study will go through a desensitization process to familiarize them with the electrical stimulation.

The children will begin with no stimulation, wearing the Walkaide to introduce the sensation of the cuff on their leg prior to beginning the stimulation. Once familiar with the feel of the Walkaide, the electrical stimulation will be introduced slowly and gradually. The child's face and verbal responses will be monitored while the stimulation is introduced and turned up to the desired response threshold.

An age and cognitively appropriate pain scale will be available if applicable to the child and situation.

The children will be assured that if they do not want to continue or if they feel uncomfortable, then the electrical stimulation will be turned off immediately. The minimum stimulus intensity is determined in collaboration with each subject. The children are asked to identify when they first begin to feel the stimulus, and the number on the intensity knob is noted. The duration of the stimulus is gradually increased along with the wearing of the Walkaide. Subjects will begin by wearing the prosthesis for 30 minutes. The wearing time will be increased to waking hours of the subject, depending on their age. The electrodes will be placed on the client before the session is to begin, and taken off immediately after WalkAide usage. The skin will be checked before and after WalkAide electrode usage. The skin will be cleaned with an alcohol wipe before the electrodes are applied. It is normal to observe somewhat reddened areas under the electrode placement following usage. However, the redness should disappear within an hour. With signs of irradiation or maintained redness, small pimple like lesions or blisters, the WalkAide usage will be discontinued at that time, and the patient will be brought to the medical staff. The skin will be re-evaluated an hour later following the electrode usage. The Pediatrician for that patient will be immediately notified, and the WalkAide usage discontinued until the problem is resolved.

Condition Cerebral Palsy
Treatment Walk Aide training
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02843646
SponsorBlythedale Children's Hospital
Last Modified on26 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Ability to ambulate independently with or without an assistive device and/or lower extremity orthoses
Ability to follow and understand experimental procedures

Exclusion Criteria

Seizure history interfering with use of functional electrical stimulation as verified by their MD
Inability to be able to complete the assessment tests to gain a baseline score
Skin irritation/skin intact
Uncorrected vision impairments
Clear my responses

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