Category Archives: Feature Article

Featured Issue Article

November 2013

Limited hip flexibility: Mutability and mobility

Myofascial or joint-focused stretches can increase passive hip range of motion in young adult men with limited hip flexibility, but this will not necessarily result in more hip motion actually being utilized during functional activity unless old movement patterns can be unlearned.

By Janice Moreside, PhD

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November 2013

Hamstring strain: Issues facing collegiate athletes

Collegiate athletes who participate in sports associated with sprinting have an increased risk of hamstring strain. Investigators have identified flexibility, strength, and fatigue as potential contributing factors that can be addressed through sport-specific training and rehabilitation.

By Kevin M. Cross, PhD, ATC, PT, Susan Saliba, PhD, ATC, PT, and Jay Hertel, PhD, ATC

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October 2013

Debating the complexities of partial foot amputation

Partial foot amputations may not offer a biomechanical advantage over transtibial amputations if the metatarsal heads cannot be retained, and some experts suggest amputation level should be selected based on probability of wound healing instead. But others disagree.

By Cary Groner

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October 2013

Ankle arthroplasty makes strides, but issues remain

Study findings and anecdotal reports suggest that newer-generation total ankle replacement can match or exceed ankle arthrodesis when it comes to gait and range of motion, but neither procedure returns gait to normal. Implant survival has also improved, but continues to be a challenge.

By Barbara Boughton

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October 2013

Total hip arthroplasty: Obesity and outcomes

Total hip arthroplasty can significantly improve quality of life in obese patients, but high body mass index is also associated with higher rates of complications and re­admissions than in normal-weight patients. The emerging subgroup of super-obese patients poses additional challenges.

By Raghav Rajgopal, MD, and James L. Howard, MD, MSc, FRCSC

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October 2013

Biofilms: Diabetic foot ulcer care gets personal

Opportunistic microorganisms called bio­films constitute an age-old diabetic wound care problem that defies traditional anti­microbial therapies. Experts believe interventions customized to individual patients based on molecular diagnostics may be the best line of defense.

By Larry Hand

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October 2013

Platelet-rich plasma: An option for tendinopathy

Patients with chronic refractory lower extremity tendinopathies often continue to have symptoms after exhausting most of their therapeutic options. Preliminary evidence supports the use of platelet-rich plasma in these patients, though higher-level research is needed.

By Ricardo E. Colberg, MD, and Kenneth Mautner, MD

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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