Category Archives: Cover Story

Cover Story Article

August 2017

Flip Flops: Biomechanical critiques resonate with clinicians and designers

It’s no secret by now that traditional flimsy flip flops are associated with gait alterations that can contribute to more serious issues, but for many patients, flip flops are a hard habit to break. A new generation of “comfort” flip flops offers an alternative, but clinicians remain wary.

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

July 2017

Tactical athletes: Maximizing their ability to protect and serve

Increasingly, clinicians and researchers are focusing on tactical athletes—including warfighters, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other professionals—as a unique population with regard to lower extremity injuries.

By Hank Black Continue reading

June 2017

Slacklining: Trendy sport takes balance training to new heights

As slacklining’s popularity grows, researchers have begun to uncover physiological and neurological evidence for how and why the activity may be beneficial to people with balance, strength, and mobility issues.

By Brigid Elsken Galloway Continue reading

May 2017

Stepping Up: Orthotic devices help patients boost physical activity levels

Improved mobility with ankle foot orthoses and other devices can help patients experience the multiple health benefits of increased physical activity. But aggressive activity goals— including the oft-cited target of 10,000 steps per day— may still be problematic for some device users.

By Larry Hand Continue reading

April 2017

From prints to prison: Forensic podiatry and gait analysis gain ground

Increasingly, lower extremity experts are being called on to assist with crime scene investigations by analyzing footprints, shoe prints, and the gait patterns of shadowy figures on security videos. For members of this fledgling field, as Sherlock Holmes famously said, the game is afoot.

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

March 2017

Knee OA in amputees: Biomechanical and technological considerations

The risk of knee osteoarthritis in the intact limb of longtime unilateral amputees is much higher than in non­amputees, and the range of potential contri­buting factors is even more complex. Optimizing prosthetic fit and function, in addition to more conventional OA interventions, can help address gait issues that contri­bute to knee joint degeneration.

By Emily Delzell Continue reading

February 2017

3D PRINTING OF FOOT ORTHOSES: Clinical feasibility and cost-benefit analyses

Several technical issues currently limit the cost effectiveness of 3D-printing custom foot orthoses, but these will likely be addressed in the near future with the emergence of larger and faster 3D printers.

By Steven Hoeffner, PhD; Timothy Pruett; Breanne Przestrzelski, MS; Brian Kaluf, CP; Nikki Hooks, CO; Katelyn Ragland; Shannon Hall; Kyle Walker; Dan Ballard, CPed; and John DesJardins, PhD Continue reading

January 2017

Patellofemoral pain subgroups: A critical first step toward personalized clinical intervention

Researchers from the UK have identified three subgroups of individuals with patellofemoral pain (PFP) that can be determined using simple evidence-based clinical tests—a key first step toward developing targeted treatment strategies as part of the ongoing effort to improve PFP outcomes.

By Jessie Janssen, PhD; James Selfe, DSc; Michael Callaghan, PhD; Chris Sutton, PhD; Paola Dey, PhD; and Jim Richards, PhD Continue reading

November 2016

Mouthguard mysteries: Can wearing one really improve athletic performance?

Multiple studies suggest that mouthguards, designed to protect athletes from dental injuries during contact sports, may also help improve muscle force and power. But plenty of other studies have found no such ben­efits, and even the experts aren’t sure what to believe.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

October 2016

Women’s Work: Overcoming gender barriers in lower extremity specialties

In lower extremity healthcare, as in politics, it hasn’t been easy for women to succeed in traditionally male-dominated roles. The gender demographics have shifted toward parity over time—in some specialties more than others—but challenges still remain.

By Emily Delzell Continue reading

September 2016

Clinician-patient communication: How personal connections can improve outcomes

Increasingly, lower extremity practitioners are realizing the clinical importance of patient communication. They’re also starting to realize that effective communication requires more than just using the right words.

By Hank Black Continue reading

August 2016

Pregnancy and gait: From foot pain to fall prevention

Researchers are investigating how changes during pregnancy may affect the lower extremities in the long term, as well as ways to treat and prevent these issues.

By Lori Roniger Continue reading

July 2016

Blood Flow Restriction Training: The slow-flow movement is fast becoming rehab’s hottest trend

Partially occluding blood flow to the limbs, in com­bin­ation with low-load resistance exercise, appears to facilitate hypertrophy and strength gains in athletes and others while protecting the joints from damaging stresses.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

June 2016

A Finer Pointe: Visualizing the ankle’s response to ballet’s toughest task

The use of detailed orthopedic imaging to examine dancers’ ankles while in the en pointe position offers insight into the biomechanical demands associated with a position that, although highly unnatural, is nevertheless essential to a ballerina’s performance.

By Jeffrey A. Russell, PhD, AT, FIADMS Continue reading

May 2016

Smoking & knee OA: From clinical controversy to therapeutic possibility

Experts say perplexing studies suggesting that smoking may be protective against the development of knee osteoarthritis (OA) should not deter clinicians’ efforts to discourage smoking—even in patients who are at risk for OA.

By Barbara Boughton Continue reading

April 2016

Shoring up the rotation: The importance of hip mechanics in pitching

Over the course of a season, collegiate pitchers undergo changes in hip rotational range of motion and hip strength—changes that could increase injury risk or negatively affect performance.

By Giorgio Zeppieri Jr, MPT, SCS, CSCS Continue reading

March 2016

Outcomes after ACL surgery: The importance of graft type

In an attempt to decrease the risk of re-rupture and revision surgery after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, practitioners are refining the decision process regarding which procedure is best for which patient.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

February 2016

Texting while walking: Gait adaptations and injury implications

It’s not surprising that tactile interaction with a smartphone while walking can increase the risk of traumatic injury, but texting while walking also affects gait in ways that may ultimately have long-term effects.

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

January 2016

Biomechanics of propulsion: Implications for AFOs

For many patients, the ability of an ankle foot orthosis to enhance propulsion is key to improving gait efficiency and reducing fatigue. But experts are only beginning to understand the biomechanical complexities that influence propulsion, which start with push-off but don’t end there.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

November 2015

Battles of Achilles II: How the debate is informing clinical practice

Four years later, the ongoing discussion of the relative merits of surgical and nonsurgical management of Achilles tendon rupture is starting to affect practice patterns – even in the US.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

October 2015

The mechanistic mysteries of foam rolling

As the popularity of foam rollers escalates, researchers are scrambling to document the therapy’s effects and tease out the possible underlying mechanisms, which now appear to be more complicated than the earliest investigators had hypothesized.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

September 2015

Health literacy: the challenge of making clinical information accessible to patients

Healthcare education materials for patients are consistently written at a reading level too advanced for a significant number of people–a trend that affects all aspects of lower extremity care and can adversely affect clinical outcomes.

By Hank Black Continue reading

August 2015

Sports compression garments: the expectations vs the evidence

Research suggests that compression garments can be effective for improving muscle recovery after fatiguing exercise, but has found little to indicate an athletic performance benefit.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

July 2015

Driving safety: The effects of lower extremity impairment

The question of when or if it’s safe for patients to drive after surgery or while wearing a lower extremity orthotic device is one practitioners should address. But, in the absence of formal guide­lines, clinicians’ advice is often inconsistent.

By Hank Black Continue reading

June 2015

Footwear and risk of knee OA: The search for meaning in moments

Although footwear may in fact play a role in the development of knee osteoarthritis and its clinical management, those relation­ships are turning out to be much more complicated than once thought.

By Cary Groner Continue reading