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The Musmate Walking Aid for Foot Drop and Hip Flexion

The Musmate Walking Aid for Foot Drop and Hip Flexion was developed by people with multiple sclerosis to help them to walk. People who have had a stroke also find it beneficial. It helps with the dropping of your foot, assists the bending of your knee and can make swinging your leg forward easier. It is available in a range of sizes and colours and has a 30-day free trial to ensure it is right for you!


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The Components of the Musmate Walking Aid for Foot Drop and Hip Flexion

The Musmate Walking Aid for Foot Drop comes as a set of six components:
* an optional shoulder pad;
* shoulder harness for one leg;
* shoulder harness for both legs;
* the elasticated assembly;
* a shoelace or strap connector;
* a shoe harness.

The Shoulder Harness for a Single Leg

The Musmate Walking Aid for Foot Drop uses the shoulder to support your weak leg(s). This is ideal because the back muscles are genrally strong and can support the additional weight. It works best when your back is kept straight and so it encourages good posture- many people with foot drop walk with a bent back because they are used to watching their feet for signs of tripping. The versions for the left and right are mirror images and there is an optional waist belt which does stop the shoulder harness from flopping forward if the waist is bent. The shoulder harness for both legs can be used for one leg but only if the waist belts are used. This can help spread the weight over both shoulders for peope who find their feet very heavy or who have shoulder weakness from injuries or illness. However the different shoulder harnesses can affect the person's balance in different ways.

front view of shoulder harness for the left leg   back view of shoulder harness for the left leg                 front view of shoulder harness for the right leg   back view of shoulder harness for the right leg
The shoulder harness for the left leg   The shoulder harness for the right leg

The shoulder harness connects to the elastic cord by means of a strap whose length is adjustable. This enables the user to control the height of their foot lift which enables them to go uphill or downhill more easily, and cope with kerbs and obstacles in the street. They can even climb stairs.

The shoulder harness is available in a range of colours and sizes to fit most people. We can also make this in different widths to make it more discreet or to better spread the weight.

The length of the harness is easily adjusted using the triglide adjusters. This should only need to be done once. The length of the hanging strap in combination with the length of the elastic assembly combines to yield the level of support and height of foot lift. This is used frequently to vary the support, such as when tired or the ground is more uneven and a higher lift is preferred.



The Waist Belt

The waist belt is fully detachable if desired and its length is easily adjusted. We modified the waist belt for one lady who had difficulty with the clip attachment. The modified version is shown where the belt is threaded through one end of the clip which holds it in place. The lady could thread the belt through the clip to put it on and take it off, and the clip could still be used by her carers as before.

standard belt       modified belt
standard belt       modified belt

The Shoulder Harness for Both Legs

The Musmate Orthosis for Foot Drop uses the shoulder as the base of the system. This enables it to support the movement of the whole leg. It does work best when your back is straight and so it encourages good posture.

There are optional waist half-belts at the front and rear which stop the shoulder harness from flopping forward if the waist is bent. They also stop the shoulder harness from swinging round and can be used to ensure that the elastic assembly is fixed in one point. The shoulder harness for both legs can be used for one leg if the waist belts are used. This can help spread the weight over both shoulders for peope who find their feet very heavy or who have shoulder weakness from injuries or illness.

front view of shoulder harness for both legs       side view of shoulder harness for both legs       back view of shoulder harness for both legs
Front View       Side View       Back View

There is an adjustable strap between the shoulder harness and the elastic connector. Adjusting this strap enables thewearer to control how high they lift their foot when walking. This means they can easily adjust their walking to cope with going uphill or downhill more easily, and go over kerbs and obstacles in the street with ease. They can even climb stairs.

The shoulder harness is available in a range of colours and sizes to fit most people. We can also make this in different widths to make it more discreet or to better spread the weight.

The length of the harness is easily adjusted using the plastic adjusters on the front. This should only need to be done once. The length of the hanging strap in combination with the length of the elastic assembly combines to yield the level of support and height of foot lift. This is used frequently to vary the support, such as when you are tired or the ground is more uneven and a higher lift is preferred.

The Elastic Assembly

The key component is the elastic assembly. This runs down the length of the leg. The tension in this is the key to lifting your leg as you walk, and this is controlled by the nylon peg. This can be easily adjusted as required to provide the necessary support. The elastic assembly is available in all-black and all-white, as well as with a metal hook. The metal hook has several advantages. Firstly, it prevents the triangle from slipping out which can happen with the plastic hook. Secondly, people with poor fine-motor skills find this hook easier to use. Finally, with the slider control on the side, there is an extra 10mm (half-inch) length which means some people find it easier to connect because they do not have to reach quite as far. The disadvantage is the shiny metal appearance. a thinner cord can be supplied if required.

2 black hooks
Two Black Hooks
  1 black + 1 metal hook
1 Black + 1 Metal Hook
  all in white
All in White

Since the elastic assembly is located slightly to the rear of the user, then the pull of the elastic is not in line with the knee and so it acts like a lever and encourages the knee to bend. The other valuable aspect of the Musmate is that during the swing phase, the elastic can be under tension which means it is carrying some of the weight of the leg. This results in an easier swing through as the wearer steps forward. Physiotherapists have reported it can be useful in cases of distal and proximal weakness in motor neurone disease (MND) patients

The elastic assembly is connected to the shoe in one of two ways. The first is a shoe harness which wraps around the shoe; the second is a shoelace connector which fits around shoelaces or sandal straps.


The Shoe Harness

The first attachment on the Musmate Orthosis is the shoe harness. This goes around the back and underneath the shoe to form a robust device for lifting the foot. This comes in three sizes. There is a small one for children and ladies with small feet, a middle size one for ladies, and a larger one for men. In addition, this does come in left and right-hand versions, and is available in black, brown, and white.

There are advantages in putting the attachment on the outside of the shoe. Firstly, it fits most shoes. Secondly, it avoids the situation where people have to buy two different sizes of shoe to accommodate a shoe insert, such as an AFO. Finally it does leave the heel free to move, thus eliminating any concern about disuse atrophy.

outside shoe top of shoe white shoe harness

The Shoelace and Strap Connector
different colours
Shoelace Connectors in Many Colours


The elasticated assembly on the Musmate Orthosis can be fitted to the shoe with a shoelace connector. This goes around the shoelaces, straps, or hook & loop fastenings. It has a triangle with which to connect to the elasticated assembly. It is available in one size only, but a custom version can be produced if required. These are available in many different colours, although the plastic fittings are only in black.

Remember to check the straps and laces regularly for wear and tear and replace them so that they do not break whilst the Musmate is in use.
connector on sandals    
Shoelace Connector on Sandals
connector on shoes    
Shoelace Connector on Shoes
connector on trainers
Shoelace Connector on Trainers

The Shoulder Pad
The shoulder pad reduces the impact of the additional load on the shoulder by cushioning it. It is fully detachable so it can be used as required. It should be required less and less as the shoulder muscles develop in response to the additional work.

Shoulder Pad on its Own
The Open Shoulder Pad
       Open Shoulder Pad on Harness
The harness sits on the open shoulder pad
             Closed Shoulder Pad on Harness
The shoulder pad on shoulder harness for use

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