December 2009

Editor Message


Focused young company grows closer to becoming internationally recognized footwear brand

Ten years ago, the U.S. orthopedic medical community had never heard of Vionic shoes. That’s no surprise, as Vionic’s fashion-forward line of orthotic footwear marched into the market in 2007. Since then, the groundbreaking shoes for men and women have taken the orthotic and comfort shoe markets by storm. Continue reading

Clinical study confirms benefits of Townsend’s OA bracing technology

For any medical professional who questions whether or not osteoarthritis (OA) braces work, a study published in two respected O&P journals proves Townsend’s OA bracing technology achieves substantial mechanical unloading, statistically significant pain reduction, and significant improvements in activity level and overall quality of life. Continue reading

Tekscan leaps to the future with a focus on tablet-based apps to improve mobility and enhance user experience

Tekscan, the Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems and software, is building on its user-friendly technology with a new focus on freeing its practitioner-users from their desks and laptops with seamless interfaces between mobile devices and the company’s sensors and software. Continue reading

Industry leader continues to push forward with expanded line of products and services

For the past 16 years, Surestep has been a stalwart in the O&P industry, improving many lives by providing stability to children with hypotonia who pronate with its patented, dynamic bracing system. Since the development of the Surestep SMO, Surestep has evolved to become a leader in the industry as it provides solutions for all children, regardless of diagnosis. Continue reading

Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

Douglas Richie, DPM, inventor of the Richie Brace, continues to push the boundaries of technology and design. He will soon add two pathology-specific braces to his existing line of ten models—one targeted to patients with Achilles pathology, another for those with diabetes who’ve had partial foot amputations. Continue reading

revere Comfort Shoes: Functional footwear that doesn’t skimp on style

One of Australia’s favorite sayings is “no worries,” meaning that something is hassle-free or simply not a problem. “No worries” is an apt description for revere Comfort Shoes: lower extremity practitioners don’t have TO worry about wrangling a necessary orthosis into a shoe that cannot accommodate it; retailers don’t have to be concerned about taking a chance on a… Continue reading

Leading innovation in gait and balance measurement

“Managing and synthesizing accurate gait data is essential to outcomes-driven healthcare, however, every successful system purchase demands an equally successful system implementation,” said ProtoKinetics co-founder Michael Rowling. “ProtoKinetics promotes our products based on exceptional quality, support and services. Continue reading

Innovation helps company remain at forefront of industry with several new products

Staying on the cutting edge of orthotic devices has been the top priority at Orthomerica since 1989, when the company opened its doors with its first custom orthoses. Continue reading

New Step Orthotics Lab: Family-Owned and Operated into the Future

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Nike. These are all multinational, billion-dollar corporations that, according to legend, began in their respective founders’ garages. New Step Orthotic Lab of Glen Carbon, IL, is also a member of that club. Continue reading

A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago, orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace, and is now the preferred method of treatment worldwide. Continue reading

Veterans in orthotics industry remain dedicated to hand craftsmanship while also embracing new-age technology

By P.K. Daniel For more than 85 years, Saddle Brook, NJ-based Levy & Rappel has set the standard in the orthotics industry with a commitment to individual attention and ensuring high-quality products. In 1930, it was the first company to … Continue reading

For KeepingPace’s new owner, a bookkeeping job led to a career – and a passion

With a strong professional background in bookkeeping, accounting and office management, Erin Lewis knew there were any number of businesses that could use her skills. But she wanted to find work in an industry that felt meaningful to her. Continue reading

Education and innovation playing key roles in company’s continued success

medi USA, the U.S. subsidiary of the German company medi, is continuing to bring innovations to its igli line of carbon fiber insole products, with a particular emphasis on the brand’s roots in pediatric orthoses. Continue reading

Esteemed German-based orthotic distributor expands product line to U.S. markets

If you’re not already familiar with Bauerfeind AG, that may soon be about to change. The German-based orthotic powerhouse has spent more than 80 years growing its line of orthoses and medical compression stockings for the athletic market. It is now poised to become a household name at U.S. orthopedic clinics. Continue reading

Taking on a national health crisis

Leaders lead. When your company is acknowledged by colleagues, competitors and patients as industry-leading, innovation is a given. So it’s no surprise that Arizona AFO redoubled its efforts in 2016 to effectively address a growing national healthcare concern while also… Continue reading

Apex paces other companies with innovative footwear offerings that are both functional and—finally!—stylish

Jason Kraus, president and chief operating officer of Apex Foot Health Industries, doesn’t mince words when describing the aesthetics of therapeutic footwear. Continue reading

Anodyne: Diabetic footwear company focuses on win-win for providers and patients

“The solution,” according to Bobby Kanter, CEO of Anodyne, “is to find the right partner.” There is no question that, over the years, the diabetic footwear market has evolved. For many, dispensing shoes and… Continue reading

New program Acor PRIME streamlines the ordering process for custom products

Acor PRIME, which launched in August, is a new program that offers free shipping both ways, free modifications on arch supports, and a free roll of fiberglass casting tape for gauntlet and Richie Brace orders. PRIME simplifies the ordering process and addresses the pricing issue as an all-inclusive program for custom products. Continue reading

Tekscan broadens practitioners’ reach with tablet-based apps, automated documentation, and more

Tekscan, the Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems and software, is building on its userfriendly technology with a new focus on freeing its practitioner-users from their desks and laptops with seamless interfaces between mobile devices and the company’s software.

By LER Staff Continue reading

Leading innovation in gait and balance measurement

According to ProtoKinetics cofounder Michael Rowling, accurate, objective gait analysis is no longer optional for clinicians who desire to help their patients retain, gain, or regain the independence so integral to their daily lives.

By LER Staff Continue reading

New name highlights greater possibilities in custom footwear and insole design and manufacture

Autodesk Footwear is a provider of software solutions for the digital creation of footwear, from design concepts through manufacture, including solutions for the data capture, design, and manufacture of custom orthotic insoles. Autodesk has confirmed its commitment to…

By LER Staff Continue reading

Streifeneder USA solidifies relationship with German partner, increasing its impact in the O&P market

Tampa, FL-based Streifeneder USA is a comprehensive supplier and product development company with a lineage of providing wide-ranging options in the fields of prosthetic devices, orthotic devices, bandages, machines and tools, as well as materials and items required in orthotic workshops.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace, and is now the preferred method of treatment worldwide.

By Samantha Rosenblum Continue reading

Surestep focuses on central fabrication, continues commitment to education

For the past 15 years, Surestep has been a stalwart in the O&P industry, improving many lives by providing stability to children who pronate with its patented, dynamic bracing system.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

Townsend celebrates 20 years as a leading manufacturer of osteoarthritis braces

Townsend Design released its first osteoarthritis (OA) knee brace, the custom OA Reliever, in 1995. Two decades and hundreds of thousands of patients later, Townsend now offers the industry’s most diverse range of OA bracing technology— enabling medical professionals to brace virtually any OA patient successfully.

By LER Staff Continue reading

igli insoles emphasize easy adjustability, customization, and control

medi USA, the US subsidiary of the German company medi, is continuing to bring innovations to its igli line of carbon fiber insole products, with a particular emphasis on the brand’s roots in pediatric orthoses.

By Gary Groner Continue reading

SOLS harnesses additive manufacturing, data capture technologies to innovate custom insole space

Additive manufacturing, more commonly know as 3D printing, is a game changer in the orthotics industry due to its potential application for quickly and accurately creating custom orthotic solutions. An article in the March 2013 Harvard Business Review suggested that mass production will be a thing of the past as 3D printing technology can easily customize products on a mass scale without the need to retool the design process.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

OHI pioneers wearable tech devices, says ‘yes’ with industry-leading promise

While the sweeping changes of the Affordable Care Act have been disruptive to some businesses, Jason Kraus, president and chief operating officer of OHI (Orthotic Holdings Inc.), welcomes them. He believes they are a potential windfall for certain sectors of the medical device industry—so much so, that he lectures frequently on the topic at onsite conferences and seminars and webinars held throughout the US and around the world.

By Suzanne Wright Continue reading

Branier’s handmade shoes feature custom-cut patterns and high-quality leathers and insole materials

The old saying “All for one and one for all” is something William Lanier, PhD, takes to heart every day. Lanier, owner of Branier Orthopedic in Sebring, FL, took over the family business about two years ago from his parents, who founded the custom molded shoe company in 1989…

By Robyn Parets Continue reading

Putting their best foot forward: OHI doubles down on innovation and guarantees always-in-stock footwear

Hauppauge, NY-based OHI (Orthotic Holdings, Inc.) acquired Apex Foot Health Industries in March 2015. President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Kraus said Apex, which is headquartered in Teaneck, NJ, had long been recognized for offering the most innovative and highest-quality footwear to healthcare professionals. However, it had been a while since the product line aesthetics had been refreshed.

By Suzanne Wright Continue reading

New diabetic shoe company steps to a different beat with fresh approach to comfort, compliance

Following in your father’s footsteps in business may seem old-fashioned and cliché, but there’s nothing antiquated about the company that Bobby Kanter cofounded this year. In September, he and former Dr. Comfort vice president, Brian O’Reilly, CPed, partnered to launch what they believe will be the new face of diabetic footwear. In doing so, they’ve introduced the industry to Anodyne, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI.

By Brigid Galloway Continue reading

PediFix celebrates 130 years as a footcare pioneer with expanding offerings

More than a century ago, a German shoemaker named Heinrich Berkemann started a footwear company with a simple principle: create comfortable and attractive products. Although much has changed over the decades, the principles he established years ago are still alive and well in his legacy, PediFix, located in Brewster, NY.

By Brigid Galloway Continue reading

Renovated plant, CAD-CAM conversion, and lean manufacturing deliver fast, seamless services

For more than 85 years, Saddle Brook, NJbased Levy & Rappel has set the standard in the orthotics industry with a commitment to individual attention and ensuring high-quality products. In 1930, it was the first company to develop a soft and supportive orthosis, raising the industry yardstick.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

Acor puts focus on central fabrication, US-made products

Coming off of last year’s success in upgrading the materials line, Acor has now turned its attention to its central fabricating services. Last October Acor ended production of custom-molded shoes. “This was a difficult decision since this line of products once defined our company,” Joseph Merolla, Acor director of sales, told LER.

By LER Staff Continue reading

Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

In 1996, after 15 years of sports podiatry practice, Douglas Richie, DPM, was frustrated by the ongoing challenge of fitting sport ankle braces to patients who also wore custom foot orthoses. The two products should have worked naturally together, but, because neither was made with the other in mind, the result was often ungainly and uncomfortable.

By Gary Groner

Continue reading

Out on a Limb: Wins of Change

A common theme among many of the 17 profiles of companies featured in the 2016 issue of the Lower Extremity Review Resource Guide is the changes driven by shrinking Medicare reimbursements and growing possibilities for audits.

By Emily Delzell, Senior Editor

Continue reading

Telemedicine: Going virtual improves communication and outcomes

In addition to his usual daily appointments, meetings, lectures, and surgical procedures, David Armstrong, DPM, MD, PhD, a professor of surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) in…

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

Building bridges between CAD-CAM hardware and O&P market needs

In the world of CAD-CAM, TechMed 3D has it all. Based in Quebec, Canada, the high-tech company specializes in body measurement technologies and digital imaging applications for orthotics and prosthetics production. The TechMed 3D process… Continue reading

Product upgrades make quick work for clinicians

“User friendly” is a technological buzzword to which many companies lay claim, but don’t always deliver on with their products. A year ago, Tekscan, the Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems… Continue reading

Today’s most advanced technology and expertise applied to gait analysis

According to ProtoKinetics cofounder Michael Rowling, gait analysis is essential for advanced orthotic and prosthetic design, evaluation of gait anomalies, and tracking of patient progress. Rowling and Youan Chang, former… Continue reading

Delcam Healthcare Solutions maintains focus on innovating for the future

Delcam is a world-leading developer and supplier of advanced CAD-CAM software and part of the Autodesk group, a multinational software supplier based in San Rafael, CA. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture… Continue reading

Propét brings game-changing ideas to footwear with stabilizing technology and variable flexibility

The New Year will find Propét USA continuing its expansion of its comfort and therapeutic footwear offerings. In collaboration with its first podiatric advisor, foot and ankle surgeon Harold Schoenhaus, DPM, Propét will continue to build its new line of… Continue reading

Streifeneder USA solidifies relationship with German partner, increasing its impact in the O&P market

Tampa, FL-based Streifeneder USA is a comprehensive supplier and product development company with a lineage of providing wide-ranging options in the fields of prosthetic devices… Continue reading

A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace… Continue reading

SureStep continues its longtime commitment to education with a new vehicle for learning

Receiving a prestigious award in 2014 has inspired SureStep CEO Bernie Veldman, CO, to expand the company’s 2015 offerings in several key areas: education and innovative products to address “W” sitting and head drop. Continue reading

Specialized custom and customized brace fabrication sets company off from competitors

In the orthopedic bracing market, Town­send Design’s position can be compared with the local neighborhood grocery store competing against giant retailers. Continue reading

igli insoles emphasize easy adjustability, customization, and control

medi USA, the US subsidiary of the German company medi, is continuing to bring innovations to its igli line of carbon fiber insole products, with a particular emphasis on the brand’s roots in pediatric orthoses. Continue reading

Plant renovation pays off with increased volume, decreased turnaround times for Levy & Rappel

The end-to-end redesign and renovation of Levy & Rappel’s plant, which began in February 2014 and is now almost complete, means the 85-year-old orthotic device company is now moving at 21st century speeds… Continue reading

OHI’s overriding goal is to deliver ever-greater value to its customers

When Frazier Healthcare acquired Orthotic Holdings, Inc. (OHI) in April 2013, they saw an opportunity to build a lower extremity juggernaut. The strategy, in an increasingly fragmented market, was to unite several leading brands… Continue reading

Hands-on development, manufac­turing, design, and customer service help Ped Lite stand out

Many businesses claim to be customer-centric, but few back up that aspiration like Ped Lite President Scott Sutter. More than a dozen years ago, Sutter started his own durable medical equipment (DME) company. Continue reading

P.W. Minor, a classic shoe company, gets new life

When new management takes over an established business, the game plan is often “out with the old, in with the new.” When Andrew Young and Peter Zeliff acquired the P.W. Minor shoe company of Batavia, NY, they made a choice to keep the old along with introducing the new. Continue reading

Apex, a division of Aetrex Worldwide, offers fashion forward footwear with superior comfort and protection

Apex, a division of Aetrex Worldwide, offers patient solutions with style. Apex footwear collections continue to expand the market for shoes that offer flexible fitting options for people with diabetes, arthritis, and other painful foot conditions… Continue reading

Justin Blair’s acquisition of new orthotic materials division aims to increase innovation, customer service

In 1997, Marvin Bearak built a foot care business around a simple, but important, motto: “Doing business, made easy.” Bearak named the business after his son, Justin Blair Bearak, and set out to create a leading supplier to shoe retailers across the country. Over the years, Justin Blair & Company has thrived and continued to add new and innovative products to its line. Continue reading

Acor Orthopaedic responds to customer need for better-quality laminates

Listening to its customers and acting on their wishes is paying dividends for Acor Orthopaedic, a manufacturer and supplier of orthopedic materials and orthoses based in Cleveland, OH. When customers asked for more durable laminates, Acor updated its manufacturing processes to supply just that. Continue reading

Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

In 1996, after 15 years of sports podiatry practice, Douglas Richie, DPM, was frustrated by the ongoing challenge of fitting sport ankle braces to patients who also wore custom foot orthoses. The two products should have worked naturally together, but, because neither was made with the other in mind, the result was often ungainly and uncomfortable. Continue reading

Out on a limb: Critical care

Hopefully none of the practitioners who read LER will ever have to treat a disease as difficult and as deadly as the Ebola virus that has killed thousands in West Africa, as well as a number of doctors and nurses who traveled there to treat those affected by the outbreak.

Emily Delzell, Project editor Continue reading

Tekscan: No pressure here – Tekscan looks to streamline clinical care

The financial crisis of the past few years has taken a toll on many US companies, but that hasn’t been the case for Tekscan. The Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems and software crossed the 100-employee mark in 2012. It can also claim a 10% growth in the sales of medical biomechanical products in the past year.

By Shalmali Pal

Continue reading

ProtoKinectitcs: Today’s most advanced technology and expertise applied to gait analysis

According to ProtoKinetics cofounder Michael Rowling, intensive patient evaluation and gait analysis are essential for advanced orthotic and prosthetic design, evaluation of gait, and tracking patient progress in physical therapy.

By LER staff

Continue reading

DOLA Orthotics Lab: Australian podiatrists reach US shores with a total digital clinic solution for custom foot orthoses

International boundaries are notoriously porous in the face of technological advances, and the fast pace of change in the world is now affecting even the field of foot orthoses. For DOLA Orthotics Lab, recent improvements in CAD-CAM, scanners, and international shipping have led to rapid growth across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. The company is now poised to establish a beachhead in the United States.

By Cary Groner

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Delcam Healthcare Solutions: CAD-CAM built to fit you and your business

Delcam is a supplier of advanced CAD-CAM solutions for various manufacturing industries. Customers can use Delcam’s technology to move seamlessly from concept to reality in the design and creation of products with complex shapes, making it the ideal solution for custom orthotic design and manufacture.

By LER staff

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Propét USA: bringing game-changing ideas to footwear

Propét USA is marching into 2014 by expanding its line of comfort and thera­peutic shoe styles. In collaboration with its first podiatric advisor, foot and ankle surgeon Harold Schoenhaus, DPM, Propét is offering a new line of sandals and flip flops featuring its new Rejuve Motion Technology, a stabilizing heel cup that minimizes pronation, as well as the Propét Preferred AdaptaStep, a recovery shoe with variable flexibility to promote healing and comfort after surgery or trauma.

By Andria Segedy

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MD Orthopaedics: A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace, and is now the preferred method of treatment worldwide.

By Samantha Rosenblum

Continue reading

SureStep: A stabilizing force for low-tone patients

Bernie Veldman, CO, had been practicing for years when his young son’s condition—severe pronation similar to that experienced by children with hypotonia—led him to add to his clinical work a focus on research and development and eventually, to form a company to offer his solutions to other practitioners.

By PK Daniel

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Townsend: “Customized” OTS braces make life better for fitters and patients

Sometimes a simple idea turns into a significant business strategy. That’s certainly the case with Townsend’s “customized” OTS (off-the-shelf) knee braces.

By Larry Hand

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Spenco Medical: Organization takes pride in founder’s pioneering spirit

When it comes to shoe insoles, the majority of users will agree on two points: Insoles should be comfortable and eminently forgettable.

By Shalmali Pal

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medi: Launching foot and ankle division to offer cutting-edge, advanced products

When Ed Wilbourne attended the annual meeting of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) in Washington, DC, a couple of years ago, he was eager to see what had changed in the world of foot orthoses since his previous visit 20 years earlier.

By Cary Groner

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Ovation Medical: Innovative research and design with both practitioner and patient in mind

When Jeff Haines and his business partner, Tracy Grim, started Ovation Medical in 2010, it was like getting the old band back together. The two had collaborated successfully for years at Royce Medical before Haines sold the company to Ossur in 2005.

By Cary Groner

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PAL Health Technologies: Dedicated to being an industry leader in customer service and orthosis precision

PAL Health Technologies was established in 1976, beginning its legacy in the ortho­tic industry in Pekin, IL. It has since expanded its inventory to include a comprehensive catalog of corrective lower extremity devices, including custom foot orthoses, diabetic and accommodative inserts, ankle braces, and therapeutic shoes.

By P.K. Daniel

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Langer Biomechanics: Quality, innovation, and education

Langer Biomechanics provides a broad array of products to keep patients mobile. The company philosophy is to leverage innovative technology, relevant client-focused services, and medical education to secure its market leader position in foot orthoses, ankle foot orthoses (AFOs), and other durable medical equipment (DME) products.

By LER Staff

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Quikiks: gears up for first production run of hands-free shoes, available in early 2014

Perhaps watching television can be good for you. About six years ago, Steve Kaufman was watching the late-night CNBC show “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch,” during which successful entrepreneurs tell how they got started in business. At the end of the show, the host would challenge viewers to come up with their own big ideas.

By Larry Hand

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Orthofeet: Rededicated to founding principles with new leadership, shoe styles, and more

For Orthofeet, the New Jersey-based designer and manufacturer of medical footwear for adults with diabetes, 2013 was a year of major transitions. In the past 12 months the company welcomed a new chief executive officer (CEO), doubled its sales force, switched to a larger factory, and initiated a grassroots education alliance with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

By Hank Black

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Apex: a division of Aetrex Worldwide, expands with two new footwear lines

Aetrex Worldwide offers patient solutions with style. Two new lines launched in the fall of 2013 continue to expand the market for shoes that offer flexible fitting options for people with diabetes, arthritis, and other painful foot conditions, as well as uppers that are both comfortable and fashionable.

By Larry Hand

Continue reading

Levy & Rappel: Long-established company continues to move with the times

David Kramer, CPed, didn’t start out to build a career in custom foot orthotics; the tendency just ran in the family.

By LER staff

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Algeos USA: Global reach on sourcing, with a personalized sales approach

Based in Santa Monica, CA, with a 5000-square-foot warehouse in nearby Riverside, Algeos USA (algeos.us) can bring the materials world to your door if you’re involved in orthotics, prosthetics, or podiatry. In 2014 the company is focusing on expanding their materials offerings and anticipating the opening of an additional warehouse in the northeast US within the year.

By Larry Hand

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ACOR: Wholesaler offers wide variety to fit practitioner preferences

By LER staff Cleveland, OH-based Acor Orthopaedic is a manufacturer and supplier of pedor­thic products, including foot orthoses, diabetic shoes, comfort footwear, custom orthopedic footwear, and orthotic materi­als. Acor is owned by brothers Greg Alaimo, CP, and Jeffrey Alaimo, CPO, … Continue reading

Mile High Orthotics Lab: Emphasis on customer, community relationships

Mile High Orthotics Lab (MHOL) is a young company that bases its success on staying at the forefront of technology while emphasizing client and community relationships.

By Hank Black

Continue reading

Richie Brace: Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

In 1996, after 15 years of sports podiatry practice, Douglas Richie, DPM, was frustrated by the ongoing challenge of fitting sport ankle braces to patients who also wore custom foot orthoses. The two products should have worked naturally together, but, because neither was made with the other in mind, the result was often ungainly and uncomfortable.

By Cary Groner

Continue reading

American Orthopedics: Innovation, customization accelerate growth

Product innovation, customization to individual needs, and private-label manufacturing services for other brands have driven continual growth at American Orthopedics Manufacturing Corporation in Mt Vernon, NY. After all, it was innovation that jumpstarted the company: In 1962 podiatrist Jack Silverman, DPM, who founded the company in 1948, received a patent for exclusive manufacturing techniques for custom-molded shoes.

By LER staff

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Arizona AFO: Investing in excellence to ensure continued leadership through innovation

“Pioneers in the development of the custom leather ankle gauntlet, Arizona AFO will continue to stay true to our legacy of delivering industry-leading craftsmanship with top-tier customer service,” said Elliott Yamada, vice president of marketing and business development for Orthotic Holdings, Inc. (OHI), which owns Mesa, AZ-based Arizona AFO.

By LER staff

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Bracemasters: Designing for a range of patients, from pediatrics to seniors

Bracemasters International is a 16-year-old company, headquartered in New Berlin, WI, that began as a manufac­turer of custom prosthetics and orthotics for a broad range of lower extremity patients. In 2008, the company switched gears to focus on expanding custom lower extremity orthotics for both pediatric and adult patients with a range of conditions and introduced evidence-based education for clinicians designed to improve outcomes with its products.

By LER Staff

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Out on a limb: Tools of the drone age

The most successful companies are never content with the status quo. They’re always thinking outside the box. We were all reminded of that on December 1, when Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed his company’s plans to launch a dronebased delivery service within the next five years.

By Jordana Bieze Foster, Editor

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Out on a limb: It’s all about you

At Lower Extremity Review, we know there are literally thousands of products out there that can help you improve your clinical outcomes. But the existence of all those products doesn’t really do you or your patients much good if you don’t know where to find them.

By, Jordana Bieze Foster, editor

Continue reading

Departments


Focused young company grows closer to becoming internationally recognized footwear brand

Ten years ago, the U.S. orthopedic medical community had never heard of Vionic shoes. That’s no surprise, as Vionic’s fashion-forward line of orthotic footwear marched into the market in 2007. Since then, the groundbreaking shoes for men and women have taken the orthotic and comfort shoe markets by storm. Continue reading

Clinical study confirms benefits of Townsend’s OA bracing technology

For any medical professional who questions whether or not osteoarthritis (OA) braces work, a study published in two respected O&P journals proves Townsend’s OA bracing technology achieves substantial mechanical unloading, statistically significant pain reduction, and significant improvements in activity level and overall quality of life. Continue reading

Tekscan leaps to the future with a focus on tablet-based apps to improve mobility and enhance user experience

Tekscan, the Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems and software, is building on its user-friendly technology with a new focus on freeing its practitioner-users from their desks and laptops with seamless interfaces between mobile devices and the company’s sensors and software. Continue reading

Industry leader continues to push forward with expanded line of products and services

For the past 16 years, Surestep has been a stalwart in the O&P industry, improving many lives by providing stability to children with hypotonia who pronate with its patented, dynamic bracing system. Since the development of the Surestep SMO, Surestep has evolved to become a leader in the industry as it provides solutions for all children, regardless of diagnosis. Continue reading

Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

Douglas Richie, DPM, inventor of the Richie Brace, continues to push the boundaries of technology and design. He will soon add two pathology-specific braces to his existing line of ten models—one targeted to patients with Achilles pathology, another for those with diabetes who’ve had partial foot amputations. Continue reading

revere Comfort Shoes: Functional footwear that doesn’t skimp on style

One of Australia’s favorite sayings is “no worries,” meaning that something is hassle-free or simply not a problem. “No worries” is an apt description for revere Comfort Shoes: lower extremity practitioners don’t have TO worry about wrangling a necessary orthosis into a shoe that cannot accommodate it; retailers don’t have to be concerned about taking a chance on a… Continue reading

Leading innovation in gait and balance measurement

“Managing and synthesizing accurate gait data is essential to outcomes-driven healthcare, however, every successful system purchase demands an equally successful system implementation,” said ProtoKinetics co-founder Michael Rowling. “ProtoKinetics promotes our products based on exceptional quality, support and services. Continue reading

Innovation helps company remain at forefront of industry with several new products

Staying on the cutting edge of orthotic devices has been the top priority at Orthomerica since 1989, when the company opened its doors with its first custom orthoses. Continue reading

New Step Orthotics Lab: Family-Owned and Operated into the Future

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Nike. These are all multinational, billion-dollar corporations that, according to legend, began in their respective founders’ garages. New Step Orthotic Lab of Glen Carbon, IL, is also a member of that club. Continue reading

A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago, orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace, and is now the preferred method of treatment worldwide. Continue reading

Veterans in orthotics industry remain dedicated to hand craftsmanship while also embracing new-age technology

By P.K. Daniel For more than 85 years, Saddle Brook, NJ-based Levy & Rappel has set the standard in the orthotics industry with a commitment to individual attention and ensuring high-quality products. In 1930, it was the first company to … Continue reading

For KeepingPace’s new owner, a bookkeeping job led to a career – and a passion

With a strong professional background in bookkeeping, accounting and office management, Erin Lewis knew there were any number of businesses that could use her skills. But she wanted to find work in an industry that felt meaningful to her. Continue reading

Education and innovation playing key roles in company’s continued success

medi USA, the U.S. subsidiary of the German company medi, is continuing to bring innovations to its igli line of carbon fiber insole products, with a particular emphasis on the brand’s roots in pediatric orthoses. Continue reading

Esteemed German-based orthotic distributor expands product line to U.S. markets

If you’re not already familiar with Bauerfeind AG, that may soon be about to change. The German-based orthotic powerhouse has spent more than 80 years growing its line of orthoses and medical compression stockings for the athletic market. It is now poised to become a household name at U.S. orthopedic clinics. Continue reading

Taking on a national health crisis

Leaders lead. When your company is acknowledged by colleagues, competitors and patients as industry-leading, innovation is a given. So it’s no surprise that Arizona AFO redoubled its efforts in 2016 to effectively address a growing national healthcare concern while also… Continue reading

Apex paces other companies with innovative footwear offerings that are both functional and—finally!—stylish

Jason Kraus, president and chief operating officer of Apex Foot Health Industries, doesn’t mince words when describing the aesthetics of therapeutic footwear. Continue reading

Anodyne: Diabetic footwear company focuses on win-win for providers and patients

“The solution,” according to Bobby Kanter, CEO of Anodyne, “is to find the right partner.” There is no question that, over the years, the diabetic footwear market has evolved. For many, dispensing shoes and… Continue reading

New program Acor PRIME streamlines the ordering process for custom products

Acor PRIME, which launched in August, is a new program that offers free shipping both ways, free modifications on arch supports, and a free roll of fiberglass casting tape for gauntlet and Richie Brace orders. PRIME simplifies the ordering process and addresses the pricing issue as an all-inclusive program for custom products. Continue reading

Tekscan broadens practitioners’ reach with tablet-based apps, automated documentation, and more

Tekscan, the Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems and software, is building on its userfriendly technology with a new focus on freeing its practitioner-users from their desks and laptops with seamless interfaces between mobile devices and the company’s software.

By LER Staff Continue reading

Leading innovation in gait and balance measurement

According to ProtoKinetics cofounder Michael Rowling, accurate, objective gait analysis is no longer optional for clinicians who desire to help their patients retain, gain, or regain the independence so integral to their daily lives.

By LER Staff Continue reading

New name highlights greater possibilities in custom footwear and insole design and manufacture

Autodesk Footwear is a provider of software solutions for the digital creation of footwear, from design concepts through manufacture, including solutions for the data capture, design, and manufacture of custom orthotic insoles. Autodesk has confirmed its commitment to…

By LER Staff Continue reading

Streifeneder USA solidifies relationship with German partner, increasing its impact in the O&P market

Tampa, FL-based Streifeneder USA is a comprehensive supplier and product development company with a lineage of providing wide-ranging options in the fields of prosthetic devices, orthotic devices, bandages, machines and tools, as well as materials and items required in orthotic workshops.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace, and is now the preferred method of treatment worldwide.

By Samantha Rosenblum Continue reading

Surestep focuses on central fabrication, continues commitment to education

For the past 15 years, Surestep has been a stalwart in the O&P industry, improving many lives by providing stability to children who pronate with its patented, dynamic bracing system.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

Townsend celebrates 20 years as a leading manufacturer of osteoarthritis braces

Townsend Design released its first osteoarthritis (OA) knee brace, the custom OA Reliever, in 1995. Two decades and hundreds of thousands of patients later, Townsend now offers the industry’s most diverse range of OA bracing technology— enabling medical professionals to brace virtually any OA patient successfully.

By LER Staff Continue reading

igli insoles emphasize easy adjustability, customization, and control

medi USA, the US subsidiary of the German company medi, is continuing to bring innovations to its igli line of carbon fiber insole products, with a particular emphasis on the brand’s roots in pediatric orthoses.

By Gary Groner Continue reading

SOLS harnesses additive manufacturing, data capture technologies to innovate custom insole space

Additive manufacturing, more commonly know as 3D printing, is a game changer in the orthotics industry due to its potential application for quickly and accurately creating custom orthotic solutions. An article in the March 2013 Harvard Business Review suggested that mass production will be a thing of the past as 3D printing technology can easily customize products on a mass scale without the need to retool the design process.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

OHI pioneers wearable tech devices, says ‘yes’ with industry-leading promise

While the sweeping changes of the Affordable Care Act have been disruptive to some businesses, Jason Kraus, president and chief operating officer of OHI (Orthotic Holdings Inc.), welcomes them. He believes they are a potential windfall for certain sectors of the medical device industry—so much so, that he lectures frequently on the topic at onsite conferences and seminars and webinars held throughout the US and around the world.

By Suzanne Wright Continue reading

Branier’s handmade shoes feature custom-cut patterns and high-quality leathers and insole materials

The old saying “All for one and one for all” is something William Lanier, PhD, takes to heart every day. Lanier, owner of Branier Orthopedic in Sebring, FL, took over the family business about two years ago from his parents, who founded the custom molded shoe company in 1989…

By Robyn Parets Continue reading

Putting their best foot forward: OHI doubles down on innovation and guarantees always-in-stock footwear

Hauppauge, NY-based OHI (Orthotic Holdings, Inc.) acquired Apex Foot Health Industries in March 2015. President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Kraus said Apex, which is headquartered in Teaneck, NJ, had long been recognized for offering the most innovative and highest-quality footwear to healthcare professionals. However, it had been a while since the product line aesthetics had been refreshed.

By Suzanne Wright Continue reading

New diabetic shoe company steps to a different beat with fresh approach to comfort, compliance

Following in your father’s footsteps in business may seem old-fashioned and cliché, but there’s nothing antiquated about the company that Bobby Kanter cofounded this year. In September, he and former Dr. Comfort vice president, Brian O’Reilly, CPed, partnered to launch what they believe will be the new face of diabetic footwear. In doing so, they’ve introduced the industry to Anodyne, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI.

By Brigid Galloway Continue reading

PediFix celebrates 130 years as a footcare pioneer with expanding offerings

More than a century ago, a German shoemaker named Heinrich Berkemann started a footwear company with a simple principle: create comfortable and attractive products. Although much has changed over the decades, the principles he established years ago are still alive and well in his legacy, PediFix, located in Brewster, NY.

By Brigid Galloway Continue reading

Renovated plant, CAD-CAM conversion, and lean manufacturing deliver fast, seamless services

For more than 85 years, Saddle Brook, NJbased Levy & Rappel has set the standard in the orthotics industry with a commitment to individual attention and ensuring high-quality products. In 1930, it was the first company to develop a soft and supportive orthosis, raising the industry yardstick.

By P.K. Daniel Continue reading

Acor puts focus on central fabrication, US-made products

Coming off of last year’s success in upgrading the materials line, Acor has now turned its attention to its central fabricating services. Last October Acor ended production of custom-molded shoes. “This was a difficult decision since this line of products once defined our company,” Joseph Merolla, Acor director of sales, told LER.

By LER Staff Continue reading

Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

In 1996, after 15 years of sports podiatry practice, Douglas Richie, DPM, was frustrated by the ongoing challenge of fitting sport ankle braces to patients who also wore custom foot orthoses. The two products should have worked naturally together, but, because neither was made with the other in mind, the result was often ungainly and uncomfortable.

By Gary Groner

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Telemedicine: Going virtual improves communication and outcomes

In addition to his usual daily appointments, meetings, lectures, and surgical procedures, David Armstrong, DPM, MD, PhD, a professor of surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) in…

By Shalmali Pal Continue reading

Building bridges between CAD-CAM hardware and O&P market needs

In the world of CAD-CAM, TechMed 3D has it all. Based in Quebec, Canada, the high-tech company specializes in body measurement technologies and digital imaging applications for orthotics and prosthetics production. The TechMed 3D process… Continue reading

Product upgrades make quick work for clinicians

“User friendly” is a technological buzzword to which many companies lay claim, but don’t always deliver on with their products. A year ago, Tekscan, the Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems… Continue reading

Today’s most advanced technology and expertise applied to gait analysis

According to ProtoKinetics cofounder Michael Rowling, gait analysis is essential for advanced orthotic and prosthetic design, evaluation of gait anomalies, and tracking of patient progress. Rowling and Youan Chang, former… Continue reading

Delcam Healthcare Solutions maintains focus on innovating for the future

Delcam is a world-leading developer and supplier of advanced CAD-CAM software and part of the Autodesk group, a multinational software supplier based in San Rafael, CA. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture… Continue reading

Propét brings game-changing ideas to footwear with stabilizing technology and variable flexibility

The New Year will find Propét USA continuing its expansion of its comfort and therapeutic footwear offerings. In collaboration with its first podiatric advisor, foot and ankle surgeon Harold Schoenhaus, DPM, Propét will continue to build its new line of… Continue reading

Streifeneder USA solidifies relationship with German partner, increasing its impact in the O&P market

Tampa, FL-based Streifeneder USA is a comprehensive supplier and product development company with a lineage of providing wide-ranging options in the fields of prosthetic devices… Continue reading

A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace… Continue reading

SureStep continues its longtime commitment to education with a new vehicle for learning

Receiving a prestigious award in 2014 has inspired SureStep CEO Bernie Veldman, CO, to expand the company’s 2015 offerings in several key areas: education and innovative products to address “W” sitting and head drop. Continue reading

Specialized custom and customized brace fabrication sets company off from competitors

In the orthopedic bracing market, Town­send Design’s position can be compared with the local neighborhood grocery store competing against giant retailers. Continue reading

igli insoles emphasize easy adjustability, customization, and control

medi USA, the US subsidiary of the German company medi, is continuing to bring innovations to its igli line of carbon fiber insole products, with a particular emphasis on the brand’s roots in pediatric orthoses. Continue reading

Plant renovation pays off with increased volume, decreased turnaround times for Levy & Rappel

The end-to-end redesign and renovation of Levy & Rappel’s plant, which began in February 2014 and is now almost complete, means the 85-year-old orthotic device company is now moving at 21st century speeds… Continue reading

OHI’s overriding goal is to deliver ever-greater value to its customers

When Frazier Healthcare acquired Orthotic Holdings, Inc. (OHI) in April 2013, they saw an opportunity to build a lower extremity juggernaut. The strategy, in an increasingly fragmented market, was to unite several leading brands… Continue reading

Hands-on development, manufac­turing, design, and customer service help Ped Lite stand out

Many businesses claim to be customer-centric, but few back up that aspiration like Ped Lite President Scott Sutter. More than a dozen years ago, Sutter started his own durable medical equipment (DME) company. Continue reading

P.W. Minor, a classic shoe company, gets new life

When new management takes over an established business, the game plan is often “out with the old, in with the new.” When Andrew Young and Peter Zeliff acquired the P.W. Minor shoe company of Batavia, NY, they made a choice to keep the old along with introducing the new. Continue reading

Apex, a division of Aetrex Worldwide, offers fashion forward footwear with superior comfort and protection

Apex, a division of Aetrex Worldwide, offers patient solutions with style. Apex footwear collections continue to expand the market for shoes that offer flexible fitting options for people with diabetes, arthritis, and other painful foot conditions… Continue reading

Justin Blair’s acquisition of new orthotic materials division aims to increase innovation, customer service

In 1997, Marvin Bearak built a foot care business around a simple, but important, motto: “Doing business, made easy.” Bearak named the business after his son, Justin Blair Bearak, and set out to create a leading supplier to shoe retailers across the country. Over the years, Justin Blair & Company has thrived and continued to add new and innovative products to its line. Continue reading

Acor Orthopaedic responds to customer need for better-quality laminates

Listening to its customers and acting on their wishes is paying dividends for Acor Orthopaedic, a manufacturer and supplier of orthopedic materials and orthoses based in Cleveland, OH. When customers asked for more durable laminates, Acor updated its manufacturing processes to supply just that. Continue reading

Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

In 1996, after 15 years of sports podiatry practice, Douglas Richie, DPM, was frustrated by the ongoing challenge of fitting sport ankle braces to patients who also wore custom foot orthoses. The two products should have worked naturally together, but, because neither was made with the other in mind, the result was often ungainly and uncomfortable. Continue reading

Tekscan: No pressure here – Tekscan looks to streamline clinical care

The financial crisis of the past few years has taken a toll on many US companies, but that hasn’t been the case for Tekscan. The Boston-based developer of tactile pressure measurement systems and software crossed the 100-employee mark in 2012. It can also claim a 10% growth in the sales of medical biomechanical products in the past year.

By Shalmali Pal

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ProtoKinectitcs: Today’s most advanced technology and expertise applied to gait analysis

According to ProtoKinetics cofounder Michael Rowling, intensive patient evaluation and gait analysis are essential for advanced orthotic and prosthetic design, evaluation of gait, and tracking patient progress in physical therapy.

By LER staff

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DOLA Orthotics Lab: Australian podiatrists reach US shores with a total digital clinic solution for custom foot orthoses

International boundaries are notoriously porous in the face of technological advances, and the fast pace of change in the world is now affecting even the field of foot orthoses. For DOLA Orthotics Lab, recent improvements in CAD-CAM, scanners, and international shipping have led to rapid growth across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. The company is now poised to establish a beachhead in the United States.

By Cary Groner

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Delcam Healthcare Solutions: CAD-CAM built to fit you and your business

Delcam is a supplier of advanced CAD-CAM solutions for various manufacturing industries. Customers can use Delcam’s technology to move seamlessly from concept to reality in the design and creation of products with complex shapes, making it the ideal solution for custom orthotic design and manufacture.

By LER staff

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Propét USA: bringing game-changing ideas to footwear

Propét USA is marching into 2014 by expanding its line of comfort and thera­peutic shoe styles. In collaboration with its first podiatric advisor, foot and ankle surgeon Harold Schoenhaus, DPM, Propét is offering a new line of sandals and flip flops featuring its new Rejuve Motion Technology, a stabilizing heel cup that minimizes pronation, as well as the Propét Preferred AdaptaStep, a recovery shoe with variable flexibility to promote healing and comfort after surgery or trauma.

By Andria Segedy

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MD Orthopaedics: A global mission to spread clubfoot treatment, training to those in need

More than 50 years ago orthopedic surgeon Ignacio V. Ponseti, MD, developed a technique to correct congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti method corrects the deformity through the use of serial casts followed by application of a specialized brace, and is now the preferred method of treatment worldwide.

By Samantha Rosenblum

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SureStep: A stabilizing force for low-tone patients

Bernie Veldman, CO, had been practicing for years when his young son’s condition—severe pronation similar to that experienced by children with hypotonia—led him to add to his clinical work a focus on research and development and eventually, to form a company to offer his solutions to other practitioners.

By PK Daniel

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Townsend: “Customized” OTS braces make life better for fitters and patients

Sometimes a simple idea turns into a significant business strategy. That’s certainly the case with Townsend’s “customized” OTS (off-the-shelf) knee braces.

By Larry Hand

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Spenco Medical: Organization takes pride in founder’s pioneering spirit

When it comes to shoe insoles, the majority of users will agree on two points: Insoles should be comfortable and eminently forgettable.

By Shalmali Pal

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medi: Launching foot and ankle division to offer cutting-edge, advanced products

When Ed Wilbourne attended the annual meeting of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) in Washington, DC, a couple of years ago, he was eager to see what had changed in the world of foot orthoses since his previous visit 20 years earlier.

By Cary Groner

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Ovation Medical: Innovative research and design with both practitioner and patient in mind

When Jeff Haines and his business partner, Tracy Grim, started Ovation Medical in 2010, it was like getting the old band back together. The two had collaborated successfully for years at Royce Medical before Haines sold the company to Ossur in 2005.

By Cary Groner

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PAL Health Technologies: Dedicated to being an industry leader in customer service and orthosis precision

PAL Health Technologies was established in 1976, beginning its legacy in the ortho­tic industry in Pekin, IL. It has since expanded its inventory to include a comprehensive catalog of corrective lower extremity devices, including custom foot orthoses, diabetic and accommodative inserts, ankle braces, and therapeutic shoes.

By P.K. Daniel

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Langer Biomechanics: Quality, innovation, and education

Langer Biomechanics provides a broad array of products to keep patients mobile. The company philosophy is to leverage innovative technology, relevant client-focused services, and medical education to secure its market leader position in foot orthoses, ankle foot orthoses (AFOs), and other durable medical equipment (DME) products.

By LER Staff

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Quikiks: gears up for first production run of hands-free shoes, available in early 2014

Perhaps watching television can be good for you. About six years ago, Steve Kaufman was watching the late-night CNBC show “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch,” during which successful entrepreneurs tell how they got started in business. At the end of the show, the host would challenge viewers to come up with their own big ideas.

By Larry Hand

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Orthofeet: Rededicated to founding principles with new leadership, shoe styles, and more

For Orthofeet, the New Jersey-based designer and manufacturer of medical footwear for adults with diabetes, 2013 was a year of major transitions. In the past 12 months the company welcomed a new chief executive officer (CEO), doubled its sales force, switched to a larger factory, and initiated a grassroots education alliance with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

By Hank Black

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Apex: a division of Aetrex Worldwide, expands with two new footwear lines

Aetrex Worldwide offers patient solutions with style. Two new lines launched in the fall of 2013 continue to expand the market for shoes that offer flexible fitting options for people with diabetes, arthritis, and other painful foot conditions, as well as uppers that are both comfortable and fashionable.

By Larry Hand

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Levy & Rappel: Long-established company continues to move with the times

David Kramer, CPed, didn’t start out to build a career in custom foot orthotics; the tendency just ran in the family.

By LER staff

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Algeos USA: Global reach on sourcing, with a personalized sales approach

Based in Santa Monica, CA, with a 5000-square-foot warehouse in nearby Riverside, Algeos USA (algeos.us) can bring the materials world to your door if you’re involved in orthotics, prosthetics, or podiatry. In 2014 the company is focusing on expanding their materials offerings and anticipating the opening of an additional warehouse in the northeast US within the year.

By Larry Hand

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ACOR: Wholesaler offers wide variety to fit practitioner preferences

By LER staff Cleveland, OH-based Acor Orthopaedic is a manufacturer and supplier of pedor­thic products, including foot orthoses, diabetic shoes, comfort footwear, custom orthopedic footwear, and orthotic materi­als. Acor is owned by brothers Greg Alaimo, CP, and Jeffrey Alaimo, CPO, … Continue reading

Mile High Orthotics Lab: Emphasis on customer, community relationships

Mile High Orthotics Lab (MHOL) is a young company that bases its success on staying at the forefront of technology while emphasizing client and community relationships.

By Hank Black

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Richie Brace: Eponymous brace remains mainstay of evolving company

In 1996, after 15 years of sports podiatry practice, Douglas Richie, DPM, was frustrated by the ongoing challenge of fitting sport ankle braces to patients who also wore custom foot orthoses. The two products should have worked naturally together, but, because neither was made with the other in mind, the result was often ungainly and uncomfortable.

By Cary Groner

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American Orthopedics: Innovation, customization accelerate growth

Product innovation, customization to individual needs, and private-label manufacturing services for other brands have driven continual growth at American Orthopedics Manufacturing Corporation in Mt Vernon, NY. After all, it was innovation that jumpstarted the company: In 1962 podiatrist Jack Silverman, DPM, who founded the company in 1948, received a patent for exclusive manufacturing techniques for custom-molded shoes.

By LER staff

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Arizona AFO: Investing in excellence to ensure continued leadership through innovation

“Pioneers in the development of the custom leather ankle gauntlet, Arizona AFO will continue to stay true to our legacy of delivering industry-leading craftsmanship with top-tier customer service,” said Elliott Yamada, vice president of marketing and business development for Orthotic Holdings, Inc. (OHI), which owns Mesa, AZ-based Arizona AFO.

By LER staff

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Bracemasters: Designing for a range of patients, from pediatrics to seniors

Bracemasters International is a 16-year-old company, headquartered in New Berlin, WI, that began as a manufac­turer of custom prosthetics and orthotics for a broad range of lower extremity patients. In 2008, the company switched gears to focus on expanding custom lower extremity orthotics for both pediatric and adult patients with a range of conditions and introduced evidence-based education for clinicians designed to improve outcomes with its products.

By LER Staff

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PFPS gender gap inspires researchers

Although the mechanisms behind patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), like those of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, are still somewhat elusive, research is shedding new light on the role gender plays in the onset of this chronic overuse condition.

By Linda Weber

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Heel pain relief: Expanding the playbook

The science of treating plantar fasciitis in athletes is evolving to consider the unusual demands these patients put on their feet. Although clinicians continue to rely on conservative management with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, taping, and orthoses, some are embracing new approaches that seem counterintuitive but offer evidence of improved outcomes.

by Cary Groner

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Lower extremity O&P warms to CAD-CAM

With a start-up cost of many tens of thousands of dollars and a steep learning curve, it’s no surprise that many O&P practitioners have been slow to transition to computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM).

By L.W. Barnes

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Ankle sprain research focuses on teens

Epidemiological studies confirm what coaches, trainers, parents, and student athletes already know—that ankle sprains are the most common musculoskeletal injury among high school athletes. A study in the August issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine bears that out, with recurrent ankle injuries accounting for 28.3% of recurrent traumatic sports injuries in teen athletes.

by Linda Weber

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CPO seeks central fab: Finding a match

Charles Kuffel, CPO, of Blaine, MN, knows his limitations. If the clinician and father of four is going to keep his referrals happy, get products to his patients on time and have a life outside the office, it means outsourcing some orthotic orders to a central fabricator.

By L.W. Barnes

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For those about to rock, we caution you

Shoes with rocker-bottom soles have long been used to alleviate plantar pressures in diabetes patients and others susceptible to forefoot pain or ulceration. The soles move the apex of the toe rocker behind the metatarsal heads, reducing pressure as the patient’s weight transfers forward over the ball of the foot.

by Cary Groner

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Shear Madness: Beyond plantar pressure

Clinicians have known for many years that uneven plantar pressures, combined with the loss of sensitivity caused by peripheral neuropathy, are associated with foot ulcers in diabetes patients. Ulcers often occur in different areas than peak pressures do, however. Shear forces, caused by pressure differentials in the foot, may be more to blame than plantar pressures per se.

by Cary Groner

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Drop foot mechanics outweigh etiology

Conditions associated with drop foot are as varied as post-stroke hemiplegia, brain or spinal cord injury, and neuromuscular disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients with drop foot are unable to use the dorsiflexor muscles to lift the foot clear of the ground during the gait’s swing phase, nor can they control plantar flexion during heel strike. The result is an awkward, unstable gait and a tendency to trip when the toes brush the ground.

by Cary Groner

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The Home Stretch: Paths to pain relief

Stretching and splinting have long been treatment strategies for plantar fasciitis. However, new research and ongoing clinical experience are calling into question older methodologies and providing evidence for some new approaches.

by Cary Groner

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Finding—and breaking—the ACL-OA link

In recent years, scientific studies have shown that anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in athletes can lead to later osteoarthritis in a large proportion of cases. In fact, some studies have documented osteoarthritis rates of 50% to 100% in former athletes who have experienced ACL injury, when followed for 15 to 20 years.

By Barbara Boughton

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Underuse, overuse both can lead to PTTD

Ongoing research into posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) has revealed risk factors that include female sex, increasing age, overweight, unsupportive footwear, and even metabolic syndromes such as diabetes. Although typically associated with older, inactive patients, PTTD is also seen more rarely in young athletes.

by Cary Groner

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CP gait studies document AFO efficacy

Clinicians who treat ambulatory cerebral palsy patients rely heavily on ankle-foot orthoses, which are the most effective treatment option for improving gait mechanics. But because CP encompasses such a wide range of symptoms, selecting the most appropriate corrective brace for a patient’s specific gait abnormality or abnormalities can present clinical challenges. Recent studies that shed light on ankle-foot orthoses’ impact on gait are characteristic of crucial ongoing research.

By Linda Weber

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Sport-specific advances benefit all amputees

Whether it’s rock climbing, triathalons, cycling, running or the high jump, advances in prosthetic design have made high-caliber athletic competition a reality for some amputees. One such athlete testified in the September issue of Prosthetics and Orthotics International, “Snowboarding with the new prosthesis is like it was before the amputation!”

by Barbara Boughton

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Early, active ACL rehab maximizes ROM

Achieving full range of motion is a key outcome of any rehabilitation program after ACL reconstruction. But what are the ingredients of a rehabilitation program that produces the best outcomes in terms of ROM?

By Barbara Boughton

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