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Special Editorial Supplements
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: 2017 IOC World Conference
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: 2015 ISPO World Congress
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Ortho Technology Forum 2015
- Orthotic management of CMT: Dynamic solutions for active lifestyles
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Orthotics Technology Forum 2014
- ATHLETES AND INJURIES: The global question of prevention
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Orthotics Technology Forum 2013
- SPECIAL SECTION: Teachings from the East
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: International Clubfoot Symposium
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Orthotics Technology Forum 2012
- STEPS AHEAD: Advances in foot and ankle biomechanics
- CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Custom Orthotic Insoles Technology Forum
- DEFENSIVE GAME PLAN: Global insights on sports injury prevention
- Recent Advances in Orthotic Therapy
- Download this FREE eBook to see how foot pressure data contributes to more efficient treatment and better outcomes.
Category Archives: Special Section
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Lower extremity kinematics and training habits affect risk of overuse injury in runners, according to research from the University of Tubingen in Germany.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Variable-stiffness shoes may have performance benefits for athletes in addition to addressing kinetic risk factors for knee osteoarthritis, according to research from the National University of Singapore.
In this special section, LER updates you on the latest research and clinical news to help optimize management of your littlest lower extremity patients. Topics include pediatric flexible flatfoot, cerebral palsy, ACL injury, clubfoot, Charcot-Marie- Tooth disease, gait patterns in autism, and footwear for early walkers.
“Other considerations” spark debate
In January 2010, when LER first covered the controversy, Australian podiatrist and researcher Angela Evans, PhD, had recently published a paper in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association suggesting that children whose feet were flatter than expected, but asymptomatic, should be monitored rather than automatically treated with orthoses.
By Cary Groner
Despite progress, research gaps remain
The January publication in NeuroRehabilitation of the recommendations from a consensus conference held in 2008 paints a less-than-perfect picture of the evidence underlying orthotic management of cerebral palsy (CP).
By Larry Hand
Age-specific protocols are key to success
Training programs aimed at preventing anterior cruciate ligament injuries have been used for many years, but injury rates remain high. Injury prevention experts suggest such programs may be more effective if implemented before children reach the ages associated with highest injury risk and if the programs utilize age-specific protocols.
By Emily Delzell
Barefoot-like isn’t necessarily best
Barefoot is a biomechanics buzzword these days, but not all practitioners believe soft-soled shoes are best for very young children, even if such shoes do approximate the barefoot walking experience.
By Shalmali Pal
But recognizing device limits is key
Muscle weakness and instability associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease in children can be addressed with ankle foot orthoses, research suggests, but practitioners should be aware of the limitations of AFOs in this patient population as well as the ever-present challenge of compliance.
By Shalmali Pal
Casting simplifies clubfoot management
In a comparative study published in the April/May issue of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, French researchers found that Ponseti casting compared favorably to French physiotherapy for initial treatment of idiopathic clubfoot.
By Emily Delzell
Results could have clinical implications
Little research has been published about gait patterns in children with autism, but that could be changing. One recently published study, although small, appears to lay the foundation for more focused research and could have clinical implications as well.
By Larry Hand
Increasing numbers of clinicians and lab owners who have made the leap to digital orthotic technology are seeing meaningful returns on those investments in terms of increased convenience, flexibility, and—importantly—profitability. At the inaugural Custom Orthotic Insoles Technology Forum, held in April at the University of Bath in the U.K., a number of satisfied digital technology converts shared their success stories and underscored the key issues that prospective adopters should consider before taking the plunge themselves.
Perhaps the most predominant theme echoed by speakers at the conference was the need to understand and carefully weigh the pros and cons of investing in digital technology, as well as the pros and cons of different individual systems, to facilitate decision-making for individual situations.
Machining orthoses with desktop cryogenics, or using an open-source “3D printer” that not only replicates orthoses but can also replicate itself, may seem unattainably futuristic. But these technologies are on the verge of being ready for prime time, and attendees at the Custom Orthotic Insoles Technology Forum got a sneak peak.
Multinational all-star teams of sports medicine experts convened in Monaco in April for the World Conference on Prevention of Illness & Injury in Sport, now under the direction of the International Olympic Committee. LER’s exclusive coverage of this event details clinical and scientific progress toward prevention of lower extremity injuries in basketball, soccer, volleyball, running, and ice hockey.