The iWALK2.0 was designed as an improvement over crutches or knee scooters for all lower leg injuries such as foot and ankle sprains and fractures, Achilles tendon injuries, etc. Without specifically intending it, the iWALK2.0 also is an incredibly effective, economical device that makes significant improvements in the lives of below knee amputees.
iWALKFree recently attended American Orthotic Prosthetic Association’s (AOPA) National Assembly in San Antonio, Texas. We had two objectives – to introduce the iWALK2.0 to the O&P industry and to learn more from the experts in attendance about how the iWALK2.0 hands free crutch can benefit below knee amputees. Mission accomplished! What we discovered was that the iWALK2.0 is significantly more useful to the BK community than we had imagined.
AOPA brings together the best and the brightest in the world of Orthotics and Prosthetics. It’s THE place to see the latest carbon fiber feet, robotic knees and ankles and a host of other amazing devices used for improving the lives of amputees. With such a vast pool of knowledge we were able to expand our understanding of the needs of the amputee and understand when and where the iWALK2.0 benefits the user. We spoke to prosthetists, doctors, designers and many amputees who provided us with valuable insights. A few individuals stand out and deserve special mention.
First is Steve Lamp, our AOPA spokesperson. Steve was in a motorcycle accident in April of 2015 which resulted in below knee amputation of his left foot. After his leg amputation Steve was left hopeless, sitting on his front porch in his wheelchair unable to do anything. After two months of being on crutches and in a wheelchair Steve’s upper leg had significant atrophy. Then his wife found the iWALK2.0. Steve began using it immediately and was walking every day, gaining strength and balance while reconditioning his injured leg. When Steve finally received his permanent prosthetic several months later, he was fully ready, as he had reestablished muscle tone and learned to balance on his “temporary prosthetic”, the iWALK2.0.
During his initial fitting, Steve disclosed to his prosthetist that he planned on doing a two mile charity walk the next day, and to everyone’s amazement – he did it. His prosthetist, who had been practicing for 25 years, had never seen anything like this. Steve attributes this accomplishment to the time he spent on his iWALK2.0, which fully prepared him for his permanent prosthetic. Steve and his supportive wife Martha felt so strongly about the need to spread the word about the iWALK2.0 in the BK community that they volunteered to represent us in our booth in San Antonio. They were able to show and tell people, first hand, just how important the iWALK2.0 is to the amputee, both before their permanent prosthetic and as an ongoing substitute prosthetic. Thanks Steve and Martha – you did us proud. Read his full story here.
Next is Ricardo, a below knee amputee who was attending the show with his amazing robotic prosthetic foot. Like most people, he didn’t know about the iWALK2.0, and discovered it at AOPA. He tried it for the first time at the show and was walking confidently in minutes. The smile on his face couldn’t get much bigger! He was so excited to have a temporary lower leg prosthesis for his home, for those times when you don’t want to or can’t use your permanent prosthetic, such as at the end of the day, or when showering. But then he said something we didn’t expect, “I’ve spent the last five years with my wife watching me crawl on the floor. With this (iWALK2.0), never again!”. He placed an order for one on the spot. See a video of his first steps here.
Richard was walking the show on his crutches. Over the three days he must have crutched miles – a difficult task. He has been using crutches for the last three months due to a condition that won’t allow him to use his prosthesis. We fit him on the iWALK2.0 and got him walking. He was a little shaky at first (as to be expected since his upper leg hasn’t been used for three months) but the look on his face was one of pure joy! He knew the implications of owning a device like the iWALK2.0 and ordered one right away. We were able to send him home with his new iWALK2.0, ironically carrying his crutches. See him walking on it at the show here.
These are just a few examples of people who have been helped by the iWALK2.0 and they showed us how the iWALK2.0 benefits below knee amputees. Steve used his as a post-op prosthesis and a temporary prosthesis during the period before he could obtain a permanent prosthesis. Ricardo will use his iWALK2.0 as an everyday device for use around the house or for when his permanent prosthesis is being adjusted or repaired. Richard no longer has to use his crutches for mobility, and can resume a normal lifestyle with hands free, pain free mobility. He’s also reconditioning his leg using the iWALK2.0 so that he will be ready when he can resume use of his permanent prosthetic.
These are just a few of the ways we learned the iWALK2.0 can be beneficial to people with lower leg amputations and we are learning more and more each day. The BK community has found out about iWALK2.0, and our phones are busy as they learn about us, and we learn about them. We’ve learned that it will be a tremendous help in training and mobilizing people who are in physical therapy after an amputation. For everyday use, BK’s use the iWALK2.0 for standard everyday tasks like cooking, laundry, cleaning, shopping, showering or anything else you would routinely do, and no longer hop or crawl.
AOPA taught us that every BK amputee can benefit significantly from iWALK2.0. The word is spreading fast, and we’re proud that we can make such a positive change in people’s lives.