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Cover Story

BEHOLD the Human Arch! Biomechanics of Longitudinal Arch Load-Sharing System of the Foot

The human foot is an engineering marvel, consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. But it is the unique and elegant load-sharing system of the longitudinal arch that makes human locomotion possible. This author explains how.

By Kevin A. Kirby, DPM


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The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Humanitarian Efforts

Christian and FOOT Foundation team members Bryan Sinnott, CPO, LPO, and Dino Scanio, MPH, CO, LO, in 2015.

By Dino Scanio, MPH, CO, LO

Christian was 2 years old when The FOOT Foundation met him 6 years ago. Born without legs in rural Guatemala, our humanitarian team fitted him with his first artificial limbs. We have seen him several times since, upgrading his bilateral above knee prostheses as he grows.

But not in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic made international travel to Guatemala impossible for 2020. As of this moment, we are hoping to get back there by the end of 2021, assuming the vaccination rollout is successful here in the United States.

But while we may return, there won’t be a return to “normal,” things won’t be like they used to be. Patients won’t be able to gather freely outside the clinic wall or sit together in groups in the waiting space. Christian and his friends won’t be able to run among the patients and family members waiting around. They won’t be able to freely touch every surface as they fly by, as kids usually do. His mother won’t be able to bring us food as a thank you and hug us at will. 

I am certain that life in Guatemala as we knew it, as The FOOT Foundation knew it, has forever changed. For one thing, Guatemala is no stranger to health emergencies. As such, the entire country is intermittently on total lockdown to prevent contagion spread during the pandemic. Only Christian and his mother will be able to leave their home and come to the clinic at the designated time. There will only be a few chairs outside the clinic, socially distanced, of course. And no one will be permitted to “just hang out” because that’s not safe in a pandemic. There will be no homemade meals and there certainly will be no hugs.

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Stair Gait in Younger and Older Adults

Older people have an increased risk of falling during locomotion, with falls on stairs being particularly common and dangerous. Step going (i.e., the horizontal distance between two consecutive step edges) defines the base of support available for foot placement on stairs, as with smaller going, the

Increased 1st-Trimester Exercise May Reduce Gestational Diabetes Risk

Pregnant women who exercise more during the first trimester of pregnancy may have a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, according to a new study led by Samantha Ehrlich, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and…

Orthotic Insoles Improve Gait and Pain in Lower Limb Discrepancy

Orthotic insoles significantly improved gait symmetry in the pelvis in the frontal plane and the ankle in the sagittal plane in participants with lower leg discrepancies (LLD) of both ≤ 1 cm and > 1 cm but > 3 cm, suggesting that it may be appropriate to treat even mild leg length discrepancy.

Prickly Pear Fruit Juice Improves Mobility

The Nopal or Prickly Pear Cactus is a staple across the southwestern United States and Mexico. Its broad flat leaves can be eaten as a vegetable (like a green pepper) and its colorful bulbous fruit is often sought after for the health benefits of its juice.


Industry News & Updates

Biomedical Engineers Develop Smart Sensor Bandages

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) are working to create an affordable, user-friendly oxygen-sensing patch printed on a flexible, disposable bandage that can interact with a smartphone. This smart bandage could enable remote monitoring for the early detection of problematic conditions, such as pressure ulcers and…

AOPA 2021 National Assembly Set for September 9–12

The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) announced that its 2021 National Assembly is scheduled to take place September 9–12, in Boston, MA. The AOPA National Assembly Planning Committee is seeking high-quality educational and research content for the Assembly, which is…

CreakyJoints Launches Gout Podcast Series, Educational Campaign

CreakyJoints, a digital arthritis community for patients and caregivers worldwide and part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), has launched The Gout Show, a new podcast series and digital destination to raise awareness of gout, a form of arthritis that causes severe, sudden attacks of inflammation, often in the toe joints or other large joints.

Proteor Acquires Freedom Innovations from Ottobock

Proteor, a Dijon, France–based company specializing in prosthetic and orthotic solutions, has completed its acquisition of Freedom Innovations, Irvine, CA, and a part of the product portfolio from Ottobock, Duderstadt, Germany. Included in the product portfolio that Proteor will receive are the microprocessor-controlled knee (MPK) Plie3; the Kinnex and…

Consensus Document Outlines Treatment for Knee OA Patients by Age, Activity Level

A global panel of over 40 orthopedic-related experts has published the first-ever Consensus Document that outlines guidelines for active, older less active, and younger knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients. The recommendations define approaches for diagnosis, conservative treatment—comprised of core treatment, biomechanical, pharmaceutical, orthobiologic, and…


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