Brian Drysdale - E-Mag Active

There Is No Stopping Active 81 Year Old Despite Having Polio Since He Was 12.

At just 12 years old Brian Drysdale from Scotland caught Polio which affected both of his legs. Now, at 81, he is leading an active life thanks to his Ottobock E-MAG Active and Ottobock FreeWalk Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO).

When Brian was first diagnosed with Polio as a child he was prescribed two old fashioned metal callipers which fitted on the outside of his shoes. Later on this was upgraded to an Ottobock FreeWalk on his right leg but he still wore a brace on his left with a locked knee joint. He quickly realised he also needed a knee joint on the brace for his left leg that allowed him to bend his knee when walking.

The Ottobock FreeWalk is a light-weight alternative to a traditional Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO). The knee joint switches between being locked and an unlocked at the appropriate time when walking, providing stability and confidence.

When Brian’s care was transferred from his local hospital to The University of Strathclyde he received his first orthosis for the left leg that contained a battery. Despite it working well and having sensors ‘it was cumbersome’. The battery ran down the outside of his leg and Brian found it heavy and clumsy.

Some years later Brian then went to HCI Viocare in Glasgow where he saw clinician Brian Maguire who recommended the Ottobock E-MAG Active for his left leg. Brian has had it ever since, reporting that it has ‘really been great’ and he continues to have his servicing and reviews with Brian Maguire at Maguire Prosthetics & Orthotics Ltd.

The Ottobock E-MAG Active is an electromagnetic Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis that allows a safe locked knee in standing and, thanks to the sensors integrated into the electronics, the knee joint unlocks at the correct time to allow the knee to bend and the leg to swing through freely when walking.

Although Brian has tried different products over the years he has found them either too heavy or that the batteries just didn’t last. These are both things that he doesn’t need to worry about with his Ottobock E-MAG Active.

“One of the things I like about it is that it goes completely under my trousers and inside my shoes, so it isn’t visible at all. From that point of view it is excellent. I have no complaints,” reports Brian.

Despite having Polio for 69 years, Brian has led a very active life and is still working as a charted accountant. He has travelled the world, played a lot of golf and has always enjoyed riding his bike.

Now Covid19 restrictions are slowly being lifted, Brian is looking forward to getting out and about again and spending quality time with his children and grandchildren. If it wasn’t for his E-MAG Active and FreeWalk, Brian would likely need a wheelchair. They provide him with the confidence and independence he deserves and are going to be a big help to him for many more years to come.

“If you have a disability, independence is very important to you. You don’t realise how important independence is until it is restricted in some way”, explains Brian. To me E-MAG represents:-

Ease of


Activity, and is one

Giant leap for the disabled.

E-Mag Active - responsive and stable

As your body changes, your walking abilities fluctuate, too. If your walking pattern or “gait” changes, the E-MAG Active can be recalibrated by your orthotist to accommodate your needs. And, unlike traditional braces, the E-MAG Active doesn’t require you to lock and unlock it while walking, and and you can easily unlock it to sit down.

Learn more about the E-Mag Active