Devices and Adaptive Equipment Post Stroke (Recorded Webinar)

This presentation for the Stroke Education Series was presented by Greg Herman, MD of the University of Kansas Health System on Devices and Adaptive Equipment Post Stroke. Thank you to The University of Kansas Health System for partnering with the American Stroke Foundation for the Stroke Education Series.

Introduction (0:00-2:50)

In this webinar, Dr. Herman discusses discusses the causes of limited joint motion post-stroke as well as devices and adaptive equipment: orthoses, adaptive equipment, DME, wheelchairs, and beyond.

Orthotics (2:50 - 20:19)

Dr. Herman explains the definition, indications, general principles, design categories, and walks us through the exploration of upper extremity orthoses and lower extremity orthoses. Upper extremity orthoses include arm slings, humeral cuff, wrist-hand orthoses, and progressive spasticity splints. He also explains lower extremity orthoses, more specifically ankle-foot orthoses, and supports such as metal AFOs, plastic ankle-foot orthoses, solid plastic AFOs hinged AFOs, and carbon fiber AFO’s.

Assistive Devices (20:20 - 27:55)

The basic premise behind any kind of assistive device is to improve stability, in particular, the goal is to widen the base of support. Ambulation aids are used to increase area of support for patients with difficulty maintaining center of gravity (COG). They are also used to improve balance, redistribute/expand the weight bearing area, and can help reduce lower limb pain. Dr. Herman explains proper cane usage, compares and contrasts different walkers and crutches, and discusses how low tech assistive technology can be especially helpful if one have limited shoulder range of motion or decreased hand dexterity. He also mentions other durable medical equipment, DME, that might be useful while completing activities of daily living like bathing/showering, toileting, and other self-care tasks.

Wheelchairs (27:56 - 32:05)

Dr. Herman emphasizes the importance of understanding how many components of a wheelchair there actually are. He outlines wheelchair features and considerations and also clients to utilize a seating and mobility clinic to ensure they are getting the correct, costume measurements they need to best support them.

Emerging Technology (32:06 - 45:24)

Finally, Dr. Herman addresses exciting, emerging technology and what we hope to see in the near future. Much of the emerging technology is based on the context of other diagnoses, but many hold some utility in the future for the stroke population.