Why do people say that walking on iwalk2.0 is hard and awkward? The general concept and its particular design make iwalk2.0 difficult in use.
I recently came across a YouTube video review of the iwalk2.0 knee crutch done by a patient in Australia. It was’t one of those promo videos by the “iwalk official website” but a genuine review by a patient who also reviewed a steerable knee cart and some crutches.
When talking and showing how to use the iwalk2.0 he mentioned a peculiar way to take a step by lifting your hip and swinging the stump around, because it is impossible to take a normal step since you can’t bend your knee and the stump can’t bend either. This is the major flaw to of the iwalk as it fallows this centuries-old idea of strapping a stump to the lower leg to replace your missing limb. Sure you can manage to move around, but your movements are far from natural. iwalk itself and partial users won’t tell you that they have to make a major adjustment to their walking pattern. And here is why.
When you take a step naturally, the leg that is coming from behind to be placed in front of you, is lifted from the ground and being bent in the knee to become shorter in order to pass under your body easily. This also allows your hips to stay relatively leveled horizontally.
This same movement from the back to the front in a bent position is impossible with the iwalk, because it is a rigid stump. So the patient has to do two things to compensate for it: lift the hip up and swing the stump around. And that’s what making iwalk walking pattern unnatural. I wonder what kind of effect this pattern can make on the person’s hips after prolonged use of iwalk.
The RollerFoot, on the contrary, encourages patient to gently glide his leg on the floor while it rolls easily on its wheels. The patient is applying his weight on the leg during the transition from behind to the front. You can observe this motion on our videos of RollerFoot in action.