Category Archives: Special Section

March 2013

STROKE: Eight weeks of early AFO use significantly enhances benefits of stroke rehabilitation

Functional balance test scores rise – Use of an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) within six weeks of stroke results in better balance outcomes and earlier independent ambulation than if AFO use is delayed, according to research from the Netherlands.

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November 2012

CONFERENCE COVERAGE: International Clubfoot Symposium

The Ponseti method of clubfoot management has achieved worldwide 
acceptance, but practitioners and researchers are still working to identify the best ways to optimize clinical outcomes while remaining sensitive to issues of cost effectiveness and cultural differences. Clinicians from around … Continue reading

November 2012

Resource-poor areas benefit from global outreach efforts

Treatment of children with clubfoot has evolved considerably in the five years that have elapsed since the inaugural International Clubfoot Symposium, and the benefits of this evolution are particularly evident in resource-poor nations—home to about 80% of the 200,000 children born each year with clubfoot. But practitioners who treat patients in these areas still face financial, cultural, and logistical challenges.

By Emily Delzell

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November 2012

Benefits of Ponseti method extend to older children

Clubfoot correction ideally should be performed during infancy, before children learn to walk, but experts agree that the Ponseti treatment method can also be effective in older children. Speakers at the International Clubfoot Symposium in October presented successful outcomes for Ponseti treatment of neglected clubfoot in patients aged up to 21 years.

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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November 2012

TATT in relapsed clubfeet can affect plantar flexion

Tibialis anterior tendon transfer (TATT) is known to be associated with limited ankle dorsiflexion, but practitioners should be aware that plantar flexion also can be negatively affected, according to research presented in October at the International Clubfoot Symposium.

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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October 2012

Energy efficiency with AFO use varies in cerebral palsy patients

Longer strides lead to increased work
Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are regularly prescribed to children with walking disabilities resulting from cerebral palsy, yet the effects of AFOs on energy recovery and work during gait are still unclear.

By Samantha Rosenblum

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October 2012

Biomodel could help researchers optimize clubfoot brace design

Method includes complex rotations
A surrogate biomodel of a child’s lower extremities, in particular the ability to model movement along multiple axes of rotation, could help improve researchers’ biomechanical understanding of bracing for clubfoot.

By Emily Delzell

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October 2012

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis study reveals footcare information gap

Issues involve custom foot orthoses
A Scottish study suggests foot care in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) falls short because of poor access to care and negative perceptions about custom foot orthoses. Experts say those issues may be less prevalent in the US but emphasize the need to educate patients, parents, and referring clinicians about the benefits of lower extremity care.

By Larry Hand

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October 2012

Early ACL surgery could lower risk of associated knee damage

Patterns mirror those seen in adults
Timing of reconstruction surgery after pediatric anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries seems to be related to the prevalence of meniscal and chondral injuries discovered during those surgeries, according to new research published in the September issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

By Cary Groner

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October 2012

Wearing athletic shoes affects some performance measures

Standing long jump distance improves
Research has recently begun to clarify footwear’s effects on gait and functional performance in children, but the broader implications of the findings remain a matter of debate.

By Cary Groner

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October 2012

Dynamic data in obese children may suggest gait compensation

Low force values surprise researchers
An Austrian study exploring the role of genu valgum and flatfoot in obese and normal weight children found obesity was associated with higher peak plantar pres­sures, but lower maximum force while walking, when forces were normalized to body weight.

By Christina Hall Nettles

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October 2012

Experts debate relative benefits of screening feet for risk factors

Most question emphasis on flatfoot
The value of screening programs for pediatric foot problems—primarily flatfoot—was recently challenged in a commentary by Australian podiatrist Angela Evans, PhD, a researcher and lecturer in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

By Cary Groner

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KID STUFF 2012: Pediatric clinical news update

In our second annual pediatric special section, LER updates you on the latest research and clinical news to help optimize management of your littlest lower extremity patients. Topics include cerebral palsy, clubfoot, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ACL injury, footwear, obesity, and … Continue reading

CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Orthotics Technology Forum 2012

Orthotic laboratory managers, CAD-CAM technology experts, and lower extremity practitioners convened in Manchester, UK, in July to share ideas and experiences related to the automated design and manufacture of foot orthotic devices. Foot orthotic laboratories have long been the principal … Continue reading

August 2012

Future of Orthotic Design will focus on practitioners

Foot orthotic laboratories have long been the principal players in the computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) of foot orthoses. But practitioners are gradually starting to play a bigger role in the process—a development that dramatically enhances the potential for clinical creativity but also introduces an extra element of uncertainty.

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August 2012

OPTIMIZING ORTHOTIC MILLING

Computer aided manufacturing is anything but a one-size-fits-all proposition. Customers have a range of variables to choose from, and making the right decision in most cases depends on knowing what type of orthotic material the machine will be asked to handle.

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August 2012

High-tech heel pad tissue analysis: Orthotic implications

The use of technology to improve orthotic design is not limited to CAD-CAM applications, as demonstrated by University of Salford researchers in two presentations at the Orthotics Technology Forum.

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August 2012

Additive manufacturing inches toward prime time

The fledgling field of additive manufacturing is still somewhat fragmented, as evidenced by the fact that the same technology can be described as rapid prototyping or 3D printing. But additive manufacturing’s profile is definitely on the rise, and its advocates are optimistic that lower extremity clinical applications are right around the corner.

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May 2012

STEPS AHEAD: Advances in foot and ankle biomechanics

Foot and ankle experts from across the globe gathered in Sydney, Australia, in April for the third International Foot & Ankle Biomechanics (i-FAB) congress. LER’s exclusive coverage of this event starts with the ever-controversial topic of barefoot running and goes on to examine clinical and scientific progress related to plantar pressures, diabetes, pediatrics, unstable shoes, and osteoarthritis.

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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May 2012

Biomechanist challenges idea that forefoot strike pattern reduces runners’ injury rate

Cites lack of conclusive evidence – Joseph Hamill, PhD, is an avid runner who runs with a natural forefoot strike pattern. But Hamill, professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says he wouldn’t recommend that running technique for most people, despite recent claims that the forefoot strike pattern associated with barefoot running is associated with a lower risk of injury than rearfoot-strike running.

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May 2012

Research links lower extremity symptoms of overuse to kinematics, training habits

Lower extremity kinematics and training habits affect risk of overuse injury in runners, according to research from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

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May 2012

Footwear customized with pressure data fails to reduce diabetic reulceration rates

But ulcer severity may be decreased – In a Dutch randomized controlled trial of 171 high-risk diabetic patients, using plantar pressure measurements to confirm offloading below 200 kPa did not result in lower rates of ulcer recurrence over 18 months compared to standard custom shoes.

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May 2012

Sham debridement matches scalpel for relief of painful plantar calluses

Scalpel debridement of plantar calluses in elderly patients does not reduce plantar pressures and is no more effective than sham treatment for relieving pain, according to an Australian study.

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May 2012

Gait changes associated with footwear may explain foot complaints in children

Studies assess school shoes, flip-flops – Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia have identified gait changes associated with pediatric footwear that may help explain foot complaints that have been reported in children.

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May 2012

Hand tremor as predictor of calf cramp in CMT patients perplexes researchers

Researchers from the University of Sydney remain perplexed by the emergence of hand tremor as a predictor of calf cramp in children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease but theorize that the relationship may involve fatigue.

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