Celebrating World Polio Day


Celebrating World Polio Day

BY Jon W

24 October 2021

The 24th of October marks World Polio Day, a worldwide day of campaigning and awareness-raising with a single focus: ending polio. Of course, thanks to polio vaccination, there has not been a case of polio in the UK since the 1980s. But, for many older people, contracting the virus during childhood has left them with lifelong symptoms and an increased risk of complications from post-polio syndrome – or PPS.


The long-term effects of polio and post-polio syndrome

The effects of polio vary greatly. In some cases, the virus leaves people with muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, tight joints and deformities of the limbs (for example, twisted ankles or legs). That, in turn, affects mobility and independence and can also cause considerable discomfort.

Some patients also go on to experience recurring or worsening polio symptoms as much as several decades later. This is what is known as post-polio syndrome. Often, the onset of PPS means that orthotic treatment needs to be reviewed to overcome new challenges that the patient is facing.


Treating the symptoms of polio and post-polio with orthotics

The right orthotics – in particular lower limb orthotics like neuro-tronic KAFOS, can help enormously with managing pain and retaining the independence of movement. Often, patients approach LOC because they want to explore whether our tailor-made orthotics offer a better solution than standard splints or callipers. Thanks to our in-house manufacturing capabilities, CAD/CAM milling with Victor the Robot, and cutting-edge techniques including the use of carbon fibre and neurotronics, we are able to design orthotic solutions that provide superior comfort, a better fit and more support for the affected limb or limbs.

Some of our polio success stories

Here are just some of the patients who have benefited from orthotic intervention at LOC over the past few years.


Sarah’s neurotronic KAFO

“This is the leg I feel I should have been born with…”

Thirty-year-old Sarah contracted polio as a child, leading to years of orthopaedic surgery, physiotherapy and orthotic intervention. She has never let the condition stop her from leading an active and fulfilling life. But, when Sarah’s condition developed into post-polio syndrome, her symptoms became more severe and standard orthotics no longer gave her the support she needed.

LOC manufactured a bespoke neurotronic KAFO for Sarah. The moment when she first tried her orthotic on in clinic was emotional! The impact was immediate, leading to some tears of joy and even a little dance. It is these moments that make our work at LOC all worthwhile.

Read Sarah’s moving story here


John’s KAFO story

“I am most thankful to Sam and his colleagues for their dedication to my case…”

When you wear an orthotic, it’s important to be able to get any problems fixed quickly. John, a polio and post-polio patient who has worn a KAFO for many years, was unlucky enough to experience a malfunction in his splint right at the start of an extended vacation in the UK!

Luckily, he found our Kingston clinic and we were able to step in double-quick. Not only did we apply a temporary fix immediately, we also recommended that a custom-made carbon fibre KAFO would be far more comfortable and promote better mobility and a more natural gait. John’s holiday was saved, and he left with a far better long-term solution to maintain his mobility moving forwards.

Here’s John’s full KAFO story


Related Video

John tests out his new KAFO at LOC's Kingston clinic.


Walking tall with a carbon fibre KAFO

“I can walk a mile now without having to stop…”

John contracted polio in the 1950s, aged just 18 months old. As a result, he has sustained permanent muscle damage. For years, he wore traditional callipers to help him walk – but he was frustrated that they were uncomfortable, he also had to rely on crutches, and his pelvis was becoming weaker.

A new, lightweight carbon fibre KAFO from LOC has greatly improved Jon’s comfort and mobility. Plus, due to post-polio syndrome causing further muscle deterioration in his other leg, we added a second lower limb orthotic to help Jon adapt to a normal “leg over leg” gait pattern and build his strength. When Jon came to see us, he could only walk 150 feet without feeling exhausted. Now, he can walk for a mile confidently!

Get the full case study here


Seeking help for polio and post-polio symptoms

If you suffer from the long-term effects of polio or post-polio syndrome, LOC may be able to help. Take a look at our dedicated polio and post-polio page, or contact LOC to seek advice from one of our orthotists.


We have the following facilities and amenities at our Kingston Upon Thames location:

  • Free parking
  • Wheelchair ramp
  • Disabled toilet
  • Baby changing facilities

We also have the Gait Laboratory for orthotics patients and Onsite Manufacturing for speedy turnarounds and adjustments whilst you wait.

We have the following facilities and amenities at our Cambridge location:

We have the following facilities and amenities at our Bristol location:

  • Free parking directly outside the clinic
  • Large Waiting Room
  • Free tea, coffee and water
  • No Toys (Due to Health & Safety Requirements of the clinic)
  • Baby changing space (In clinic room)
  • Fully wheelchair accessible
  • Short walk to Clifton Village centre for shops, restaurants & cafes

For more information, visit Litfield House Medical Centre.

LOC’s clinic is based in the University of Salford’s Podiatry Department and provides treatments for orthotics, scoliosis, pectus deformities, positional plagiocephaly and club foot.

It is also the base for LOC’s northern OSKAR clinic which is run by Sam Walmsley, clinical director of LOC, in conjunction with Elaine Owen MBE MSc SRP MCSP.

Due to COVID-19, we have had to temporarily close the Salford clinic and are operating out of another clinic in Bolton. 

508 Blackburn Rd,

Astley Bridge,




For more information, please visit The Good Health Centre