A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. Approximately 85% of strokes happen when the artery that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked (ischemeic). About 13% of strokes happen when a blood vessel ruptures in or near the brain (hemorrhagic). A small percentage of strokes are transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or mini-strokes. TIAs are different from ischemic strokes because blood flow to the brain is blocked for a short time only – usually no more than five minutes. In approximately 79% of all stroke cases, a blood vessel that supplies the brain is blocked, e.g. by a blood clot. This results in an insufficient blood supply. Nearly 13% of patients suffer exactly the opposite, namely bleeding in the brain, due to damaged vessels. In both cases, the supply of blood to certain regions of the brain is no longer sufficient due to a local circulatory disturbance.
Every year, nearly 62,000 people in Canada have a stroke, many of which are first-time cases. Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. More than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over have reduced mobility as a result. Stroke costs Canada more than $2 billion each year, including the cost of healthcare services, medications to treat stroke, and lost wages.
The symptoms of stroke can vary widely between individuals. The severity of the symptoms also varies. They include:
- Impaired vision
- Restricted field of vision
- Disruptions of depth perception, seeing double
- Speech and language comprehension disturbances
- Paralysis, numbness
- Disrupted touch sensation
- Drooping corner of the mouth – such dysfunctions can also occur in the leg and arm (drop foot and wrist drop)
- Shoulder pain
- Unstable knee joint function while standing
- Torso instability
- Dizziness with uncertain gait
- Spasticity of various forms and severity
Stroke rehabilitation is designed to help stroke survivors become as independent as possible and attain the best possible quality of life. While rehabilitation cannot reverse the brain damage that occurs as a result of the stroke, it can help survivors relearn skills when part of the brain is damaged.
Rehabilitative therapy typically begins in the acute-care hospital after the individual’s condition has been stabilized. Rehabilitation can include working with speech, physical, and occupational therapists. For some stroke survivors, rehabilitation to maintain and refine skills can continue for months and even years after the stroke.
The products below are designed to help improve mobility after a stroke. Whether a product is suitable for you and whether you are capable of exploiting its full functionality depends on many different factors. Your physical condition, fitness, and a detailed medical examination are all taken into consideration. Your doctor or orthotist will decide which product would be the most appropriate for you. We are happy to support you.