Revolutionizing the Dynamic Footrest
Traditional wheelchair footrests are designed to provide postural support and stability as well as distribute weight bearing during sitting. When subjected to significant forces, the footplates may move out of alignment or the footrest assembly may be damaged. Dynamic Footrests move in response to client movement and force. As the client moves, the Dynamic Footrests absorb and diffuse forces, protecting the client from injury, preventing equipment damage, and providing numerous therapeutic benefits.
Dynamic Footrests provide movement in response to client movement and force.
How does the ability to move affect equipment and the client?
- Forces are absorbed and diffused, protecting both the client and the wheelchair frame and seating system from harm.
- Extensor tone is diffused, reducing overall tone and posturing.
- Movement is provided, which can increase sitting tolerance, decrease agitation, increase alertness, and even strengthen the lower extremities.
Where is movement provided?
- Telescoping. This downward movement still absorbs and diffuses force without knee extension. This feature is appropriate when tight hamstrings limit active knee extension.
- Knee extension. Opening the upper to lower leg angle, in combination with the telescoping feature, follows the natural arc of movement which occurs when the knee is straightened.
- Plantar/dorsi flexion. When the lower extremity is extended, extension may be seen at the hip, knee, and even ankle (plantar flexion). This component absorbs and moves in response.
Benefits of Dynamic Footrests
In Their Words
Watch Me Move
Sarah - she loves to move!
In this video, Sarah is forcefully and excitedly demonstrating her drive to move – and how the Dynamic Footrests on her wheelchair are facilitating that movement.
Dynamic Footrest Overview
The Dynamic Footrests move with the client’s extensor tone and return to the original starting position. Allowing movement may reduce active extension and reduce agitation.
Determining if Dynamic Footrests are Appropriate
In general, if a client has moderate to significant extension and/or has a history of equipment breakage, Dynamic Footrests may be a welcome addition to their seating system.
Technical Information & Options
The Dynamic Footrests can be installed at the required angle and with the appropriate amount of resistance to optimize client use.
Degree and frequency of movement will vary by client and may even vary throughout the day for one individual. Selecting the appropriate amount of resistance ensures force absorption and diffusion, storing energy to provide a gentle return to the starting position. If the resistance is too high, the client may not be able to move the component. If the resistance is too low, the component may not readily return to the starting position.
- Telescoping: Resistance is provided by a spring. Medium (Blue) is installed as the default. A Soft (Yellow) and Firm (Green) spring are also included to change the level of resistance.
- Knee elevation: Resistance is provided by elastomers. Medium (Blue) is installed as the default and should not be changed unless the user cannot move into extension. In this case, resistance can be changed to Soft (Clear).
- Plantar/Dorsi flexion: The resistance of the elastomers in the ankle joint cannot be changed.
- Telescoping only knee angle: Adjusts in 7.5° increments and telescopes downward up to 1.5”.
- Telescoping and elevating knee angle: Starting position options include 90, 80, 70, 60, or 50 degrees. The footrest can elevate up to an additional 30°.
- Adjustable windswept option: Adds an angle adjustable joint to rotate the footrest in or out, relative to the seat rail, in 7.5° increments to accommodate adduction in one leg and abduction in the other leg. Available on low pivot only.
- High pivot option: This option raises the pivot point of the Dynamic Footrest and is used to align the footrest pivot point with the knee and with clients who have a shorter leg length and/or when a higher seating surface is used.
- Reverse offset (Available in either Dynamic or Static plantar/dorsi flexion): Primarily for young children or other clients with a shorter leg length, this raises the footplate closer to the seat rail. Available in 3 lengths.
Dynamic Footrest Options
Connect with Seating Dynamics
The optimal level of resistance is critical to the functioning of Dynamic Footrests. In this Quick Class, we will review how to determine resistance at the telescoping and elevating features.Read More
Myra Vasquez-Romero, OTR, ATP
Regional Manager, Lightning Mobility Evaluations, LLC
Former Clinical Coordinator
Outpatient Pediatric Seating and Mobility Clinic
TIRR Memorial Hermann Pediatric Outpatient Rehabilitation
“I have used these dynamic footrests with much success for my patients and my…Read More
“Ted, I just wanted to send one last e-mail to let you know I installed the dynamic footrests on Amber’s chair yesterday. She is very happy with how they move and work for her. It’s an amazing concept, and so beneficial for someone like her. Thanks again for all the help with getting her the correct parts.”Read More