Daniel is a teenage boy with the diagnoses of cerebral palsy and seizures. He has significantly high muscle tone and has had varied success with tone management over the years. If his feet are not strapped to the footplates, he extends at his knees and his feet are then hanging far in front of the footplates. This increases the turning radius of the wheelchair, places his lower legs at risk of injury, and leads to a loss of position of his pelvis. As a result, his feet have been strapped into shoeholders for most of his life. This positioning has kept his feet on the footplates, but has created other issues. Continue reading →
Allowing movement at the knee is more complicated than it sounds. When a client extends at the knee, this movement is not just in one plane. In other words, the foot doesn’t simply slide forward. The foot follows an arc, forward and upward.
Wheelchair footrest hangers are generally static. If the client is able to extend at the knees, the feet move forward off the footplates. This is fine for clients who can easily move their foot back onto the footplate. If the client’s feet tend to leave the footplates and the client cannot return to this starting position, we often add in foot straps and/or shoeholders to maintain this position.