Category Archives: Cover Story

Cover Story Article

October 2011

FUTURE SHOCK: Youth sports and osteoarthritis risk

There’s no question that exercise is good for kids. But the trauma asso­ciated with some youth sports can dramatically increase the risk that those kids will develop knee or ankle oste­oarthritis by the time they reach adult­hood. The key next step is to determine what can be done about it.

By Yvonne M. Golightly, PT, PhD, Stephen W. Marshall, PhD, and Dennis J. Caine, PhD

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September 2011

Keeping O&P compliance in check

A recent paper suggests that a checklist system can help practitioners educate caregivers about orthotic device use in children with CP, which could improve compliance. But experts differ as to whether such checklists make sense in the complex world of O&P devices.

By Larry Hand

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August 2011

Momentous adaptations: Offloading the knee through gait modification

Changing the way people walk can significantly decrease knee external adduction moments, which in turn appears to relieve pain and possibly slow the progression of osteoarthritis. The challenge, however, is finding a gait modification that feels and appears natural to patients.

By Lydia Caldwell, BS, and Joaquin Barrios, PT, DPT, PhD

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July 2011

EXERCISE AND NEUROPATHY: Not mutually exclusive

Exercise is a cornerstone of treatment for diabetes, but for years patients with peripheral neuropathy have been dis­couraged from weight-bearing exercise for fear of further increasing ulceration risks. Now new research is turning that advice on its head.

By Cary Groner

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June 2011

Powering the Windmill: Lower body mechanics of softball pitching

Injuries in softball pitchers typically occur in the upper extremities, but focusing rehabilitation and prevention efforts on the upper body alone ignores the essential supporting roles played by the pelvis and lower extremities in providing a stable base for the pitching motion.

By Gretchen D. Oliver, PhD, ATC, LAT

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May 2011

BATTLES OF ACHILLES: The operative vs nonoperative treatment debate

Early mobilization techniques have revolutionized both surgical and nonsurgical management of Achilles ruptures, but the resulting improved outcomes have ignited a heated discussion among practitioners as to which approach is best.

by Cary Groner

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April 2011

Sprain in the Forecast: Epidemiology and risk factors for ankle sprain

Analysis of the epidemiology of ankle sprain has revealed modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. Understanding these will allow practitioners to help athletes minimize their risk of acute injury and chronic sequelae.

By CPT Brian R. Waterman, MD; Joseph R. Langston, BS; Kenneth L. Cameron, PhD, ATC; LTC Philip J. Belmont, Jr, MD; and LTC Brett D. Owens, MD

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March 2011

Upstanding interventions: Falls prevention in O&P

Devices that improve proprioception, balance, and biomechanics can help patients avoid the significant morbidity and mortality associated with falls. But in some cases, a device may actually increase risk. That’s why matching the right intervention to the right patient is essential.

By Cary Groner

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February 2011

Head Games: Neurocognitive contributors to noncontact injury

Because movement is controlled by the central nervous system, any type of cognitive disturbance can increase an athlete’s risk of injury. An increasing research focus on these neuropsychological variables could determine the future of rehabilitation and injury prevention.

By Charles Buz Swanik, PhD, ATC

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January 2011

THINKING SMALL: Making strides in children’s footwear

It was my first trip to buy shoes for my then-toddler son. He had just started walking with the aid of helping hands, and as I stared out at a sprawling display of shoes inside a high-end children’s shoe department, I felt utterly confounded. Some of the shoes felt soft, others were hard-soled and stiff, many were akin to moccasins. I was assaulted by all manner of colors and patterns and styles, each one different from the next. Massaging my eyes, I wanted to only to leave.

By L.W. Barnes

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November 2010

The truth about barefoot running: It’s complicated

One side claims running shoes cause injury; the other side counters that barefoot running comes with its own risks. There are likely elements of truth on both sides. But when it comes to giving your patients advice about barefoot running, experts have more questions than answers.

by Cary Groner

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October 2010

Military Medicine: What it means for civilian practitioners

The military – a wellness utopia of active and healthy young adults who must maintain fitness and weight standards to remain in good standing. Personnel medical histories are part of vast military databases that practitioners and researchers use to chart trends and examine the evolution of treatments. Unlike with civilian medicine, patients and their outcomes can be followed through years-long stretches, offering a view that is otherwise hard to come by.

By L.W. Barnes

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September 2010

Pressure Treatment: Dynamic data guide orthotic therapy

Dynamic pressure measurement systems aren’t just for research any more. The technology optimizes outcomes by enabling practitioners to prescribe orthoses that address particular gait abnormalities and to quantify the biomechanical effects.

by Cary Groner

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August 2010

Beyond Bunionectomy: The Role of Physical Therapy

More and more surgeons are embracing the idea that physical therapy after bunion surgery can improve range of motion and other functional outcomes. But some practitioners still aren’t sure it’s right for everyone.

By Linda Weber Continue reading

July 2010

The Throw – From Below: Hip mechanics dictate overhead motion

It’s shoulder and elbow injuries that most often land baseball pitchers and other throwing athletes on the disabled list. But the cause of those injuries often can be traced to strength and flexibility deficits at the hip—effects that reverberate up the kinetic chain.

by Kevin Laudner, PhD, ATC, FACSM

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June 2010

Heel pain revisited: New guidelines emphasize evidence

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ revised guidelines for heel pain treatment reflect lower extremity healthcare’s increasing focus on evidence-based medicine, including hundreds of references as well as helpful diagrams. But clinical experience is still essential to the therapeutic process. By Cary Groner

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May 2010

PLANTER’S PUNCH: Kicking and ACL injury risk

Most studies of kicking in soccer have focused on the kicking leg. But the biomechanics of the plant leg, which often functions at odd and unexpected angles, may have greater implications for injury.

By Sarah E. Clagg, DPT, Angela R Warnock, MPT, and James S. Thomas, PT, PhD

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April 2010

Vancouver 2010: Behind the scenes

Qualifying for the Olympic Games or the Paralympics is about taking athletic performance to the next level. Sometimes it’s also about taking rehabilitation to the next level. That’s where lower extremity practitioners come in. By Cary Groner

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March 2010

Keeping MRSA in check: Are you doing enough?

The spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has clinicians, especially those who treat patients with diabetes, rethinking the way they practice. Experts offer tips for treatment and prevention, starting with what not to wear.

By Cary Groner

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February 2010

Keys to compliance in O&P: Practitioners share their success stories

Perfect compliance is probably too much to hope for. But patient education, diligent follow-up, empathy and a little imagination can go a long way toward improving device wear rates and clinical outcomes.

By L.W. Barnes

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January 2010

Numbers needed to treat? The pediatric flexible flatfoot debate

A recent paper recommends waiting before prescribing orthotics for children with asymptomatic flexible flatfoot. But some insist such children could have underlying structural abnormalities and should be treated. Without data, it’s hard to know who’s right. By Cary Groner

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November 2009

Balancing Act: A real-world approach to high heels

High heeled shoe wear alters biomechanics over time in undeniable, painful ways. But practitioners also know that asking women to give up their heels is an exercise in futility. Instead, they focus on finding a balance.

By Cary Groner

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October 2009

Bracing vs athletic performance: Why not both?

The sports medicine practitioner has two goals: one, to keep the athlete healthy, and two, to help that athlete perform to the best of his or her ability. But when it comes to lower extremity bracing, those two objectives sometimes butt heads.

By Cary Groner

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September 2009

Obesity and O&P: Optimizing outcomes

Few patient populations have more to gain from orthotic and prosthetic therapy. But no other group of patients poses a bigger clinical challenge. By Cary Groner

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August 2009

Knee OA: Take a load off

From weight loss to exercise to lever arms, effective early interventions can stave off surgery.
By Monica R. Maly, PT, PhD

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