Veterans Health Administration

12/14/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/14/2019 08:56

Shoe slide developed by VA nurse helps Veterans relearn to walk

After working with Veterans for seven years in the Physical Rehabilitation Program at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock, Saprina 'Rene' Butler, R.N., had an idea about how to better help those with mobility issues.

'I worked with hundreds of Veterans who were unable to lift their foot off the ground because of their medical condition,' said Butler, whose career with the VA is going on 12 years. 'I struggled transferring them from bed to chair, risking injury to my back and their knees. [I] knew there must be a better way.'

Taking that extra step to make a difference in her patients' lives, Butler turned into her idea to reality by developing the Shoe Slide.

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Placed on the shoe, the veteran is able to glide his/her foot across the floor without lifting it, allowing for improved stability and ease in walking.

The Shoe Slide is a device that straps to the bottom of the shoe. With it, the patient is able to glide his/her foot across the floor without lifting it, allowing for improved stability and ease in walking. It is also very beneficial for physical therapists, letting them keep their base stance and easily move the patient's foot back into place when a correction is needed.

'While we may not be able to correct the underlying medical cause, we can correct the friction problem,' said Butler. 'Another benefit we are very proud of is increased patient motivation. If you are trying to learn to walk again and you're constantly stumbling, it gets into your head that you're failing. However, with the Shoe Slide and the constant smooth flow, the patient feels successful and is encouraged to continue therapy.'

Efficient and safe

The Shoe Slide improves safety for both the therapist and the patient, and it's cost efficient, too.

'The device has a grip that stops you from slipping,' said John Martin, a patient who has used the Shoe Slide. 'You notice that it slides where you want to go. It allows you to accomplish exactly what you're trying to accomplish.'

See the Shoe Slide in action.

Story and photos via Public Affairs Office, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System