CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Orthotics Technology Forum 2012

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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.

By Jordana Bieze Foster

 

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Robotic training device setup. (Reprinted with permission from Sukal-Moulton T, Clancy, T, Zhang LQ, Gaebler- Spira D. Clinical application of a robotic ankle training program for cerebral palsy compared to the research lab- oratory application: Does it translate to practice? Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2014 May 1. [Epub ahead of print])
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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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Digital design of an internal lattice structure for orthotic additive manufacturing. (Photo courtesy of Chris Lewis Jones/Delcam.)
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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