Category Archives: Feature Article

Featured Issue Article

September 2013

Lower body mechanics bolster overhead throws

Lower extremity biomechanics  can significantly affect the risk of upper extremity injury in overhead throwing athletes, such as baseball and softball pitchers and catchers, and the functional stability of the lumbopelvic-hip  complex is essential to preventing those injuries.

By Gretchen D. Oliver, PhD, FACSM, ATC, LAT, Hillary Plummer, MAT, ATC, and Lisa Henning

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September 2013

PAD and reamputation in patients with diabetes

In patients who undergo a minor foot amputation following a diabetic foot ulcer, severe peripheral arterial disease is the primary risk factor for subsequent major amputation, which underscores the importance of early detection and intervention for PAD in this population.

By Vincent S. Nerone, DPM, Kevin D. Springer, DPM, Darren M. Woodruff, DPM, and Said A. Atway, DPM, AACFAS

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September 2013

Original research: Knee self-massage for OA pain

The medical literature supports the use of massage for relief of osteoarthritis symptoms, but therapist-administered treatments can be cost-prohibitive. This study found that self-massage can also be effective, even when the initial supervised sessions are continued by patients at home.

By Dorothea Atkins, ThD, RN, and David Eichler, PhD

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September 2013

Core stability and lower extremity injury risk

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that clinical tests of core strength and stability can help predict risk of lower extremity injury in athletes, which in turn supports the need for a multisegmental approach to the development of injury prevention programs.

By Valerie Snider, MS, ATC, and Gary Wilkerson, EdD, ATC

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September 2013

Effect of sex hormones on incidence of knee pain

New research suggests that vasti muscle activation in women varies throughout the menstrual cycle, adding to the growing body of literature pointing to a connection between sex hormones and knee injury risk. The exact nature of that relationship, however, remains unclear.

By Matthew S. Tenan, MA, ATC, and Lisa Griffin, PhD

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August 2013

Finding fashion options that accommodate AFOs

Practitioners know patients who feel that ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) hinder their sartorial style are less likely to be compliant, but many clinicians feel ill-equipped to give fashion advice. That’s when the expertise of a stylist, seamstress, or personal shopper can come in handy.

By Shalmali Pal

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August 2013

Plantar fasciitis: Unique challenges in basketball

Not only do basketball players have many of the same risk factors for plantar fasciitis as the general population, they also have the added challenge of a grueling season and very little opportunity to rest. That means practitioners have had to be creative when it comes to treatment.

By P.K. Daniel

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August 2013

Gait retraining improves symptoms of knee OA

A number of different gait modifications have been demonstrated to significantly reduce the knee adduction moment in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Now research suggests gait retraining can also help reduce the pain associated with knee OA and improve function.

By Pete B. Shull, PhD

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August 2013

Diabetic limb salvage: Surgeon’s perspective

When preventive measures have been exhausted, various surgical approaches can be employed to provide each diabetic patient with a functional, biomechanically sound foot that is free of infection, while minimizing the risk of future lower limb complications.

By Gabriel V. Gambardella, DPM, and Peter A. Blume, DPM, FACFAS

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August 2013

MS and gait: Assessment facilitates opportunity

Significant progress has been made in quantifying gait impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis, but clinician-friendly assessment techniques that are sensitive to mild levels of impairment are needed to facilitate early intervention and in turn improve patient outcomes.

By Douglas A. Wajda and Jacob J. Sosnoff, PhD

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July 2013

Patient Perspective: Bunionectomy recovery is more than just healing

I can’t recall exactly when the bunion on my left foot started causing discomfort, but it was probably when I was about 40. I waited some time to get a referral to a podiatrist, and when I finally saw one, life with two kids and a full-time job stalled my pursuit of treatment for another three and half years.

By Karen Bakar

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July 2013

Post-traumatic OA: Unique implications for the military

Military populations experience high rates of disability related to post-traumatic osteo­arthritis (PTOA), which does not always originate from combat injury. But military researchers are also uniquely posi­tion­ed to explore therapeutic options to minimize the effect of PTOA.

By Jessica C. Rivera, MD, Joseph C. Wenke, PhD, James R. Ficke, MD, and Anthony E. Johnson, MD

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July 2013

A new approach to iliotibial band syndrome in runners

Variables related to iliotibial band strain appear to be important risk factors for development of iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) in runners, a finding that is beginning to change the way researchers assess the effectiveness of gait retraining interventions to treat or prevent ITBS.

By Stacey Meardon, PT, PhD, ATC, CSCS, and Ross H. Miller, PhD

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July 2013

Kicking biomechanics: Importance of balance

Kicking is a whole-body movement that is responsive to a wide range of constraints related to the task, the environment, and the athlete. Preliminary research also suggests that balance control in the support leg plays a key role in athletes’ kicking performance.

By David I. Anderson, PhD, and Ben Sidaway, PT, PhD

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June 2013

Inserts improve symmetry, velocity in stroke patients

Learned disuse of the affected limb can lead to weight-bearing asymmetries in patients with stroke-related hemiparesis. Compelled body-weight shift therapy, using shoe inserts to force loading of the affected limb, can help patients achieve a more symmetrical gait.

By Alexander S. Aruin, PhD

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June 2013

Retraining fixes faulty gait in injured runners

Although the technique is still in its infancy, early research suggests gait retraining can be used to address medial collapse, primarily in runners with patello­femoral pain (PFP) syndrome, and to reduce impact loading in runners with PFP or tibial stress fracture.

By Ashlin Miller, BS, and Richard W. Willy, PhD, PT, OCS

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June 2013

Rockers and rollovers: Implications for AFOs

Practitioners and researchers are redefining rocking and rolling as key components of gait, and designing ankle foot orthoses and other orthotic and prosthetic devices to specifically address impairments in the way certain patients rock and roll.

By Cary Groner

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June 2013

Soft tissue composition and bone injury risk

Documenting how shock propagates through the leg and is attenuated by the soft tissues appears to be a critical step toward advancing practitioners’ and researchers’ understanding of lower extremity injury mechanisms related to running and landing activities.

By Timothy A. Burkhart, PhD, EIT, Alison Schinkel-Ivy, MHK, and David M. Andrews, PhD Continue reading

June 2013

Relieving pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy

Given the limitations of pharmacotherapy options for treating painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, practitioners are also considering the merits of cognitive therapy, orthotic management, and combination therapies to relieve patients’ pain.

By Larry Hand

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May 2013

Orthotic management of Charcot-Marie-Tooth

Ankle foot orthoses can help compensate for muscle weakness and accommodate related structural deformities in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, but practitioners are constantly looking for ways to improve suboptimal compliance rates.

By Cary Groner

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May 2013

Diabetes and altered gait: The role of neuropathy

Researchers have identified gait alterations in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy but also in diabetic patients with normal sensation, raising questions about the extent to which factors other than neuropathy might also be affecting gait.

By Cary Groner

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May 2013

Concussion assessment: Neuromuscular concerns

Balance testing is already recommended for concussion assessment in athletes, but research suggests the connections between concussion and neuromuscular variables are even more complex, and the opportunities for intervention more numerous.

By Brent Harper, PT, DPT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT

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May 2013

Artificial surfaces evolve, but safety debate persists

Artificial turf technology has advanced significantly, and some research suggests newer surfaces are as safe as grass, if not safer. But in other reports, including a high-profile NFL study, turf has been associated with higher rates of lower extremity injury.

By P.K. Daniel

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April 2013

Microfracture surprises tarnish the experience

US orthopedic surgeons perform more than 25,000 microfractures annually, making the procedure the most common marrow-­stimulating technique used for repair of the cartilage defects that often affect active individuals.1 Although microfracture is a single-stage, low-cost intervention that requires only surgical time and common surgical tools, it requires…

By Emily Delzell

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April 2013

Orthosis use in children with Down syndrome

The literature on preschool-aged and older children with Down syndrome tends to be consistent with conventional understanding of orthotic principles, but in very young children clinical decision-making about orthoses must also encompass  neuromotor implications.

By Julia Looper, PT, PhD

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