August 2013

LER08-13CvrlrCover Story

Digging in to prevent ACL injuries in volleyball

Landing and change of direction in volleyball can put players at risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Few ACL prevention studies have focused on volleyball, but players can benefit from screening and intervention programs that have been shown to be effective in other sports.

By Joanne L. Parsons, MSc, PT, CAT(C)

Editor Message

Out on a limb: Might as well jump

One of the biggest challenges in sports injury prevention is that the sheer number of potential injuries makes it prohibitive to screen for all of them. But what if there was a single test that could be used to screen for all lower extremity injuries? It’s not as farfetched as you might think.


Finding fashion options that accommodate AFOs

Practitioners know patients who feel that ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) hinder their sartorial style are less likely to be compliant, but many clinicians feel ill-equipped to give fashion advice. That’s when the expertise of a stylist, seamstress, or personal shopper can come in handy.

By Shalmali Pal

Plantar fasciitis: Unique challenges in basketball

Not only do basketball players have many of the same risk factors for plantar fasciitis as the general population, they also have the added challenge of a grueling season and very little opportunity to rest. That means practitioners have had to be creative when it comes to treatment.

By P.K. Daniel

Gait retraining improves symptoms of knee OA

A number of different gait modifications have been demonstrated to significantly reduce the knee adduction moment in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Now research suggests gait retraining can also help reduce the pain associated with knee OA and improve function.

By Pete B. Shull, PhD

Diabetic limb salvage: Surgeon’s perspective

When preventive measures have been exhausted, various surgical approaches can be employed to provide each diabetic patient with a functional, biomechanically sound foot that is free of infection, while minimizing the risk of future lower limb complications.

By Gabriel V. Gambardella, DPM, and Peter A. Blume, DPM, FACFAS

MS and gait: Assessment facilitates opportunity

Significant progress has been made in quantifying gait impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis, but clinician-friendly assessment techniques that are sensitive to mild levels of impairment are needed to facilitate early intervention and in turn improve patient outcomes.

By Douglas A. Wajda and Jacob J. Sosnoff, PhD


In the Moment: Diabetes

By Emily Delzell

Less and less limb loss: But uphill battle still awaits, experts say

Lower extremity amputation (LEA) rates in the US continue to fall, according to an analysis published in July that confirms earlier research demonstrating a steady decline beginning in the 1990s.

Amputation, reulceration rates fall after two years of orthotic therapy

Orthotic therapy in patients with diabetes and a history of foot ulcers was associated with dramatic decreases in reulceration and amputation rates, according to data from Spanish researchers at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Removable plug insoles significantly reduce pressure, as do arch supports

Researchers from Taiwan confirmed that insoles with removable plugs reduce forefoot plantar pressures in patients with diabetic neuropathy, and those pressures are further reduced by adding arch support.

In the Moment: Sports Medicine

By Samantha Rosenblum and Jordana Bieze Foster

Stress management: Landing mechanics predict fracture risk

Landing biomechanics have long been a focus of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury research, but they may also be predictive of lower extremity stress fracture, according to a study presented in July at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) meeting in Chicago.

Two studies explore contributions of core muscles to ACL injury risk

Two recent studies underscore the association between core mus­­cle function and risk factors for anteri­or cruciate ligament injury.

Customizing stochastic resonance boosts balance effects in FAI patients

Stochastic resonance stimulation (SRS) more effectively improves balance in patients with functional ankle instability (FAI) when optimized based on each patient’s sensory threshold than when all patients receive the same treatment, according to research from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Market Mechanics

APMA announces 2013 abstract awards

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) announced the winners of its 2013 APMA Annual Scientific Meeting Abstract Competition on July 24 at its annual meeting, held in Las Vegas.

APMA presented awards to first-, second-, and third-place winners in five categories.

First place winners received $500; second-place awardees, $250; and third-place winners, $100.

First place winners were:  Tracey C. Vlahovic, DPM, for Outstanding Oral Abstract, “Naftifine hydrochloride gel 2% is efficacious and safe ...

UNO opens $6M biomechanics building

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will hold the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new $6-million biomechanics research facility on September 5 during the annual meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics.

The 23,000-square-foot building houses research efforts led by Nicholas Stergiou, PhD, professor and director of UNO’s Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility.

The new building provides space for the research program’s scientists and state-of-the-art biomechanics equipment and testing, including virtual reality ...

Toenail topical shows efficacy in trials

A topical antifungal manufactured by Palo Alto, CA-based Ancor Pharmaceuticals clears nails and fungal infection in people with onychomycosis, according to data presented in July at the 2013 American Podiatric Medical Association Annual Scientific Meeting held in Las Vegas.

Max Weisfeld DPM, a podiatrist in private practice in Baltimore, MD, reported on results of two phase 3 trials of tavaborole that showed the boron-based agent cleared nails and cured fungal infection ...

FDA clears Empi Phoenix stimulator

The Empi Phoenix, a neuromuscular electrical stimulator designed to supplement physical therapy before or after surgery for total knee replacement or anterior cruciate ligament repair, has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, according to a July statement from manufacturer DJO Global, headquartered in Vista, CA.

The stimulator helps address disuse atrophy before and after surgery and offers treatments to manage pain and reduce swelling.

In a paper published in ...

Center expands sports injury surveillance

The Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention in Indianapolis announced in July that its data collection is expanding beyond college sports to include national youth, high school, and amateur sports programs.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the American College of Sports Medicine, and Indianapolis-based venture capital group BioCrossroads formed the center in 2006 and began a program to build on the NCAA’s Injury Surveillance System.

The program now collects ...

EPA endorses socks’ fungicidal effects

The Environmental Protection Agency granted public health claim approval in July to Richmond, VA-based Cupron for the antifungal properties of its new copper-infused diabetic socks.

The PRO Therapy System socks kill 99.9% of Trichophyton mentagrophytes (athlete’s foot fungus) after 12 hours of contact.

The socks use naturally antifungal copper technology, which is embedded in the fabric to maintain effectiveness over time, the company reports.

The socks will enter the market this fall. Doctors, ...

Motion lab targets assistive technology

Cleveland State University (CSU) opened the doors in July to its new Parker Hannifin Motion and Control Lab, where the research focus is assistive technology.

Lab scientists are working on computerized “smart” prosthetic limbs that react like natural limbs and robotic exoskeletons that can be used to assist walking in patients with paralysis, rehabilitating from stroke, or at high risk for falls.

Dutch biomechanist Antonie “Ton” van den Bogert, PhD, heads the ...

Orthocare Innovations wins tech honor

R&D Magazine highlighted its picks for the year’s best technology in July, naming Oklahoma City-based Orthocare Innovations’ microprocessor foot-ankle system to its list of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the last year.

Other winners of this year’s R&D 100 Awards include the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Toyota.

Orthocare’s Magellan system uses microprocessor computer control combined with microhydraulic technology to mimic key functional features of the human ankle.

The system ...

VA verifies DM Systems’ vet-owner status, an arm of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), certified Evanston, IL-based DM Systems in July as a veteran-owned small business.

DM Systems president and owner Denis Drennan, MD, is a Vietnam veteran who won the Bronze Star for his service.

Although there are nearly 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in the US, only 6000 are verified as veteran-owned by the VA—a status accorded to businesses in which the veteran holds ...

Midwest O&P chapter makes donation

The Midwest Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists made its annual donation in July to the Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation’s Dale Yasukawa Scholarship.

The $1000 donation will help sustain the scholarship of an O&P student at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The scholarship, created in 2001, honors the memory of Dale Yasukawa, CP, who was educated at Northwestern and served as director of prosthetics at the Rehabilitation Institute of ...

Aqualeg opens its first facility in the US

European company Aqualeg opened its first US facility on July 30 in Rock Hill, SC, naming Michael Burton general manager.

The company, based in Nantes, France, is scheduled to introduce its hybrid cover that can be adapted to compatible existing devices and its buoyancy-neutral prosthesis which can be used for both everyday wear and water activities, to the US market next month during the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association World Congress ...

Delcam succeeds with US-based forum

Delcam’s 2013 Orthotics Technology Forum, held in the US for the first time in May at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, showcased new and upcoming technologies and processes designed to assist practitioners in the prescription, design, and manufacture of custom orthotic insoles and orthopedic shoes.

More than 100 delegates attended the educational event, participating in sessions that included discussions on reverse engineering, unique designs for mass production, lean manufacturing ...

ComfortFit updates online ordering

Roselle, NJ-based ComfortFit Orthotics has added new online ordering capabilities.

Customers can now view complete information on all new orders as well as three years of account history, order noncustom products online, and query lab staff about orders, products, materials, and processing.

The program requires a password-protected account. To set up a password, contact Randee Husik at 800/773-2699.

PEL announces new owners, retirements

Cleveland, OH-based PEL Supply Company announced on August 1 that the company has been purchased by PEL LLC, a private organization led by Michael A. Sotak, who also assumes the positions of president and CEO. Sotak spent the past six years as an executive at Invacare, headquartered in Elyria, OH.

PEL Supply announced the ownership change concurrently with news of the retirements of Gary Mahler, president, and Paulette Vaughn, executive vice ...

Orthofeet launches shoe line at APMA

Northvale, NJ-based Orthofeet partnered with former National Football League quarterback Randall Cunningham to introduce its latest footwear collection at this year’s annual meeting of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), held in Las Vegas in late July.

The Performance collection features an outer sole that supports movement, absorbs shock, and works with a fitted heel wrap to promote a natural stride.

The line features three athletic styles for men (Athens) and women ...


AFX Pro and New AFX

Progressive Health Innovations has rebranded its AFX ankle foot maximizer as the AFX Pro and launched a new AFX product. The two products feature many of the same benefits. With four levels of resistance, the AFX Pro (suggested retail price of $129) is targeted at healthcare professionals, people undergoing early stage physical rehabilitation, and those looking to improve performance significantly. With two levels of resistance, the new AFX ($99) is ...

DiabeticDefense Topical Products

The PediFix Footcare Company introduces its DiabeticDefense line of topical products for diabetic footcare. These formulas help patients with diabetes care for their feet to minimize dry, rough, cracked skin; wash away fungus and bacteria; and help prevent skin breakdown. Daily Therapy Foot Moisturizer hydrates skin to help keep feet soft, smooth, and healthy. Daily Therapy Foot Wash includes vitamins A, E, and F, tea tree oil to clean and ...

JMS Swiftwick Compression Socks

JMS Plastics Supply now offers a line of advanced compression socks to minimize the perspiration that builds up in prosthetic liners. The new Swiftwick Valor Compression Socks use a patented bonding process to deliver the natural antiodor and antifungal benefits of silver ions throughout the socks, activated when the wearer sweats. Made of strong, quick-drying Tactel, the socks feature targeted knee padding, linked seams for a smooth distal end, and ...

KiddieROCKER Pediatric AFO

Allard USA announces KiddieROCKER, the newest addition to the ToeOFF family of products, for children with more involved pathologies. KiddieROCKER supports the foot-ankle complex while facilitating a more normal range of motion during the developmental years, as well as increased stability for those with more severe and/or more proximal deficits. KiddieROCKER is a dynamic solution for foot drop, gait deviations secondary to proprioceptive deficits, low-tone deficits, toe-walking with no midfoot ...

New Langer PPT Foams

Langer Biomechanics introduces its new, advanced line of PPT engineered foams, designed to provide practitioners with tools for protecting patients. PPT is versatile, comfortable, durable, and its ability to absorb rapid repetitious shock (attenuation) is almost twice that of other protective materials. PPT also retains 95% of its pressure-absorbing capacity, even under the extreme conditions of daily running. The new PPT line, in blue and tan colors, complements the company’s ...

Pro Taco Ankle Device

Topical Gear, a company that designs protective gear for female athletes, has released the Pro Taco. A taco-shaped buttress applies topical pressure to the anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments and two foam buttresses apply pressure to the neuroreceptors in the peroneal muscle group and the Achilles tendon. The design is intended to strengthen the ankle, enhance proprioception, and reduce load on the lateral ligaments. The Pro Taco takes seconds to ...

Pro-Tec Orb Massage Ball

Pro-Tec Athletics introduces The Orb, a deep tissue massage ball. The Orb allows for a multidirectional roll for targeting specific lower extremity areas. The high-density device is designed to reduce muscle fatigue and tightness, promote flexibility, and enhance performance. The Orb is available in 5-inch diameter and 7-inch diameter sizes. The 5-inch
diameter ball is intended for providing aggressive deep tissue massage to the iliotibial (IT) band, hamstrings, quadriceps, and ...

Tola System Now With Strap

The Tola neuromuscular release system now includes the Tola Strap, making it more effective and easier to use. The Tola Strap allows the user to relax the target muscles and apply pressure to hard-to-reach areas without assistance. The 8-ft adjustable strap can be used in a closed or open position. For example, loop the closed strap around the body and use the feet or legs to apply pressure while sitting. ...