Category Archives: Special Section

August 2014

Robotic ankle training for CP transitions from lab to clinic

A robotic system developed at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), previously shown to have efficacy in a research lab setting, is also effective when used in a physical therapy clinic for ankle training in children with…

By Hank Black Continue reading

August 2014

Early focus on gross motor skills may benefit children with autism

In children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), lower fine and gross motor skills are associated with higher disease severity scores, according to new research that supports the concept of earlier motor skills intervention in this population.

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

August 2014

BMI does not drop after surgical realignment for Blount disease

Surgical correction of the varus alignment that is characteristic of Blount disease does not lead to greater patient activity or reduction in body mass index (BMI), according to a recent study.

By Hank Black Continue reading

August 2014

Understanding Hypotonia

Diagnostic challenges should not delay clinical intervention – Hypotonia, or abnormally low muscle tone, is by itself not a disorder but a symptom of an enormous array of issues—many of which can be difficult to diagnose accurately.

By Christina Hall Nettles Continue reading

August 2014

Gait: The Cornerstone of Intervention

Quantifying the effects of hypotonia starts in the clinic – Effective management of children with hypotonia requires an understanding of how the condition affects gait. Clinicians typically rely on their professional experience when discussing the effects of hypotonia on gait in pediatric patients, partly because they trust that experience…

By Cary Groner Continue reading

August 2014

The Importance of Gross Motor Skills

Early intervention can help provide a solid foundation – Many kids with Down syndrome, autism, and other neurological conditions may experience biomechanical limitations in the form of delayed development of gross motor skills. One of the drivers of that delay can be hypotonia.

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

August 2014

Orthotic Solutions for Children with Hypotonia

New research underscores years of positive clinical results – When it comes to orthotic management of pediatric patients with hypotonia, the medical literature is only beginning to document the effectiveness that clinicians have been reporting anecdotally for years.

By Cary Groner Continue reading

August 2014

An unexpected path, an invaluable perspective

For this family, one tiny extra chromosome led to a journey of self discovery – When our son was born, we prayed for a healthy baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes. Our prayers were answered. Three years later, those same prayers were said for baby number two. And, once again, our prayers were answered.

By Suzi Klimek Continue reading

August 2014

Orthotic success stories: Four cases in a series

Each child in this case series was assessed every other week for 16 weeks (12 weeks for one patient who moved out of state) to determine mastery of items 23, 26-28, 30-39, 41, 42, and 45 (ranging from “pull to stand” to “run”) on the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale. Test instructions were modified as needed for children to understand them …

By Megan Smith, CO Continue reading

August 2014

Prevention of ACL injuries targets youngest athletes

Some evidence suggests that neuromuscular training before puberty can help further reduce anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rates. But young children respond differently to instruction than their older counterparts, which means early intervention requires some creativity.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

August 2014

Outcome studies continue to support Ponseti method

Clubfoot researchers have begun to report long-term data that continue to solidify the superiority of the conservative method over surgical intervention in most cases. But variations to the traditional Ponseti method are arising, particularly in developing countries, and may alter outcomes.

By Larry Hand Continue reading

July 2014

Pluses and minuses of additive and subtractive approaches

Practitioners and orthotic laboratory owners at the fourth annual Orthotics Technology Forum (OTF) thinking about switching from traditional design and manufacture methods to digital technology got an up-close look…

By Emily Delzell Continue reading

July 2014

Documenting CAD-CAM’s clinical relevance

Foot orthoses made with advanced design and manufacturing technologies aren’t just technically impressive—they’re also clinically relevant, according to the results of two studies presented in June by…

By Jordana Bieze Foster Continue reading

May 2014

Plaster outranks other pediatric casting materials for moldability

Sometimes, even when new treatment materials are available, it may be better to rely on traditional options. Such may be the case when it comes to choosing a molding material to form casts for children with clubfoot or fractures.

By Larry Hand Continue reading

May 2014

Risks of overuse, burnout extend to youth athletes

Despite the slim odds of securing an athletic scholarship and the even slimmer prospect of playing professional sports, there’s an overemphasis today on success in competitive youth sports, including specialization and…

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

May 2014

Early outcomes support internal technique for limb lengthening

Preliminary evidence supports the use of a new internal technique for limb lengthening, according to data from the International Center for Limb Lengthening (ICLL) at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

By Samantha Rosenblum Continue reading

May 2014

Kids, clothes, and AFOs: Finding just the right fit

When a child is required to wear ankle foot orthoses (AFOs), his or her clothes have to be more than just cute. Trying to match the logistical requirements of AFOs with fashion concerns and psychosocial development can be a challenge for patients and parents alike.

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

May 2014

ATHLETES AND INJURIES: The global question of prevention

All the countries in the world share the challenge of keeping athletes healthy, and in April, sports medicine experts from across the globe met in Monaco to discuss the best ways to address those challenges at the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport. LER’s exclusive coverage of this event details clinical and scientific progress toward prevention of lower extremity injuries from ankle sprains to hamstring strains. Continue reading

May 2014

Studies explore implementation options for sports injury prevention programs

Even if an injury prevention program is effective under controlled study conditions, that effectiveness doesn’t always translate to the real world. That’s why some researchers are now working to identify the most effective strategies for implementing prevention programs and the most common barriers to implementation. Continue reading

May 2014

Specialization, weekly training loads contribute to risk in youth athletes

Sports specialization and high weekly training volumes are associated with increased risk of injury in youth athletes, according to research from Loyola University in Chicago. Continue reading

May 2014

Research downplays role of shoe design elements in maintaining runners’ health

Runners today aren’t like the runners of the 1970s. They’re far less likely to be male, thin, or dedicated to the sport. And yet, the medical literature suggests that running injury rates are essentially unchanged. Continue reading

May 2014

Education before ACL reconstruction reduces rates of reinjury in first year

Two hours of patient education before anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction can significantly reduce rates of reinjury in the first year after surgery, according to research from Funabashi Orthopedic Hospital in Japan. Continue reading

May 2014

Support builds for eccentric strengthening to prevent hamstring strains in soccer

Research is accumulating in support of eccentric strengthening exercises to prevent hamstring injury in soccer players, and possibly to screen for athletes at risk, according to several studies presented at the IOC conference in Monaco. Continue reading

May 2014

UTC monitoring of patellar tendon load keeps Australian footballers in the game

Using ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC) to monitor tendon load in Australian Football League players has led to no games missed due to patellar tendinopathy in four years, according to Sam Rosengarten, a sports physiotherapist at Recover Sports Medicine in Melbourne who has worked most recently with the Carlton Football Club. Continue reading

May 2014

Poor dynamic postural stability predicts risk of ankle injury in ball team athletes

Poor dynamic ankle stability is predictive of injury risk in athletes, but exercises designed to improve dynamic balance may not be effective in athletes with chronic ankle instability, according to separate studies presented at the IOC conference in Monaco. Continue reading