People with drop foot have been significantly limited by the orthotic options they had available to them. There are solutions that minimize the discomfort and difficult that come with drop foot, but none of them offered complete freedom. If you wanted to go skiing, your ankle foot orthosis likely wouldn’t fit in your shoes.

The Turbomed XTERN is designed to offer freedom, flexibility, comfort, and correction without limitations. The XTERN’s revolutionary design makes new things possible for ambitious, athletic, and active people living with drop foot. It’s nothing like any other ankle foot orthosis you’ve ever seen. And it is now available at Tony Martin Limb and Brace Tucson Orthotics.

What is Drop Foot?

Drop foot, used interchangeably with the term “foot drop”, is a term to describe an anatomical, muscular, or neurological condition that makes it difficult to raise the front of your foot. People with drop foot usually find that their impacted foot or both feet will drag when they walk.

Muscular disorders, nerve disorders or nerve injuries, and disorders impacting the brain or spinal cord can cause drop foot. The issue sometimes relates to the muscles, but it often relates to the brain’s ability to properly translate commands to the feet.

Some people with drop foot overcompensate by raising their thighs higher when they step, walking with a gait that mimics perpetual stair climbing. While this does cause the foot to raise up off the ground, it creates unnecessary stress on the back and legs. The only way to correct the gait is through the use of a proper ankle foot orthosis that helps to lift the front of the foot.

How Do Conventional Orthotics Work for Drop Foot?

Ankle foot orthotic devices commonly used to correct drop foot pose significant limitations, and many people find them uncomfortable for long term wear. They don’t work with many types of shoes, reducing the amount of activity that can be performed with the orthosis. With every step, the orthotic device rubs against the skin of the foot and ankle, sometimes causing irritation that makes wearers feel like they’re simply trading one problem for another.

What Makes the XTERN Different?

The XTERN does not have any limitations. This orthotic device is effective at supporting and correcting drop foot in any kind of footwear. That’s because the device is designed to be used outside of the shoe. If you want to wear golf cleats, running shoes, snow boots, sandals, steel toed construction boots, or even tapdancing shoes, you can.

Your feet will be as comfortable as your shoes can keep them, and you’re free to engage in any activity your athletic ability will allow. You don’t have to choose between a great experience and a corrected gait.


How Does the XTERN Work?

XTERN is an exoskeleton that will work with any shoe. It’s easily transferable from shoe to shoe. You don’t need multiple devices for each piece of footwear. The device is made of very durable thermoplastic that is heat adjustable for a custom fit. The design is symmetrical, meaning there is no right foot or left foot piece.

XTERN uses a system of “clips and zips” to affix to your shoes. It’s very easy. A special plastic piece is fitted to your shoe where the tongue stars. The piece is affixed with zip ties. It doesn’t damage your shoe and can be removed and replaced by cutting the zip ties. You can affix these clips and zips to every pair of shoes you own. All you need to do is hook the front of the XTERN onto the clip after you’ve put your shoes on.

XTERN never makes contact with your foot or ankle. This means you won’t experience uncomfortable friction from running or climbing. The device hooks your shoe to your mid-calf with a soft strap. You won’t experience any irritation from using XTERN and you won’t want to stop moving because it’s getting uncomfortable. XTERN is designed for long term wear. It’s built to run a marathon with you.

The XTERN is designed to provide energy return with each step, and can conform to any terrain. This makes it possible to hike or run while wearing an XTERN. That’s why the XTERN is such a game changer. It’s something you add to a normal routine, rather than a way to change or adapt your routine. Other than the fact that you’re putting your XTERN device on before you leave the house, nothing else is different. You can wear your favorite shoes and do whatever you want to do.

What Can the XTERN Be Used to Treat?

XTERN is designed to correct drop foot and dorsiflexion weakness. People with peroneal nerve injury, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Charcot Marie Tooth disorder, motor neuron disease or motor neuropathy, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis may also benefit from XTERN.

Is XTERN Right For Me?

If you believe you would benefit from XTERN, simply talk to your doctor. XTERN is different from other orthotic devices in that you do not need a prescription for XTERN. You do, however, want to get a definitive drop foot diagnosis. If you have a structural deformity of your foot, severe spasticity, or certain forms of muscle weakness, XTERN is not the device you need. You may require surgical intervention. That’s why it’s important not to self-diagnose.

If you do have drop foot, you can visit your orthotist to be measured for the right size XTERN device. Your orthotist can finish assembling your XTERN, help you prepare your shoes for the XTERN, and show you how to wear the device.

If you’d like to learn more about XTERN, Tony Martin Limb & Brace is here to answer all of your questions. We can help you get started with your own XTERN device and demonstrate how simple it is to use. You can give us a call at (520) 790-7755 or use our simple email form to contact us about XTERN. We’ll get back to you promptly with the answers you need to help you find freedom and relief with your own XTERN orthotic device.