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Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

FES is an alternative orthotic device. It is used to help correct drop foot. It helps to facilitate ankle dorsiflexion by inducing tibialis anterior muscle contraction through electrical stimulation.

This in turn helps to ensure there is enough dorsiflexion during swing to improve toe to ground clearance. FES has been shown to help patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy and spinal injuries. It does not help with drop foot that is caused by injuries below a certain level in the spine.

When you are referred for FES you will attend an initial appointment to test whether FES is suitable for you. This includes a clinic examination to see your ankle joint ranges and spasticity. It is also used to see if FES works for you.

If FES is suitable for you, your clinician will need to apply to your local CCG for individual funding for your treatment. They will assess your application according to their criteria and will determine if you are eligible.

If funding is approved, your next appointment will be your fitting appointment to loan you your device. This involves the clinician showing you all the steps of how to set up the device and use it, and provide you with the consumables.

After your fitting you will then have review appointments at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months after fitting and then annually in order to help you along with getting to grips with it and make any adjustments required to keep it working optimally for you.

The device can be worn on a belt or clipped to the top of trousers and the wires go down the side of the leg. A foot switch is worn inside the shoe to time the start and end of the stimulation on each step, ensuring activation occurs whilst the foot is off the floor.

If funding isn’t approved we will explain to you why it hasn’t been, and will suggest alternative treatment options.


Contact us

Telephone: 01332 258159
Email: dhft.gaitandfes@nhs.net


Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.