July 2021

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Publisher Memo

2020’s Struggles Shine Light on New Opportunities—for LER and Readers

By Rich Dubin, Publisher

So much has happened, I don’t even know where to begin. This is time for reflection and appreciation for where we have been and where we are going. All our lives and businesses have been changed forever. This pandemic has affected us in so many ways personally and professionally. In many ways, our eyes and hearts were opened. My relationships have become stronger, and it is easier to see who and what is important. This past year plus has been a valuable learning experience for all. That is, if you were able to remain open and see where the opportunities lie. There is typically no growth without struggle and the struggle this past year provided significant opportunity for growth. At least for me and LER.

With 12 years under our belt and a strong brand with a loyal following, we have been able to weather the storm (with a little help from the Paycheck Protection Program loan program) and come out stronger and more resilient and focused. While maintaining a commitment to LER and our readers, we have launched several new endeavors. lerEXPO is our online event company, where we build, host, market, and moderate online events for Associations, manufacturers, and clinicians. To date, we have facilitated over 17 events with another 15 slated for the balance of the year. These are all accredited and offer online learning from trusted sources. We work with experts in the fields of podiatry, orthotics and prosthetics (O&P), orthopedics, physical therapy, athletic training, biomechanics, pedorthics, and wound care to bring you the best content.

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Post COVID-19:
22 Experts Weigh in on What Was, What’s Next

The Future of Orthotics Manufacturing

3D printing has been waiting to disrupt the orthotics market for years. Only time will tell if the pandemic’s pause afforded clinicians the opportunity to understand the benefits this technology can bring to their practice and their patients. Recent decades have seen a proliferation of technological advances that promise to transform traditional methods of fabricating in-shoe foot orthoses.

By Cary Groner

The Coming Renaissance Will Unlock the Innovation Vault in Orthotics

I joined Langer Biomechanics toward the end of 1979. I believe the orthotic industry was about halfway through the first of 3 distinct periods in its evolution: the development phase. The science, education, and product development work of that era created a level of utilization by clinicians that forever altered the previous use of “arch supports” and replaced…

By Jason Kraus

Embracing the Transformation Brought by a Black Swan

We see the signs of COVID-19 loosening all around us. Protocols are relaxing, stores are opening, social events are happening, and people are traveling again. At a personal level, we are experiencing a series of post-COVID firsts. Some are small, such as a first trip to the store without a mask, first in-person meeting, or first sporting event.

By Gerald Stark, PhD, MSEM, CPO/L

Now We Know: Virtual Is Real

Lower Extremity Review reminds us of Bob Dylan’s famous line, “the times they are a-changin’,” as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. But one has to wonder a bit why it took the pandemic to induce 1 very large change we all experienced: the shift from centralized to decentralized workspaces, at least for those of us in academia.

By Paul DeVita, PhD

2021 “Normal” Same as 2019, Just Different

In 2019, I worked in an office/clinic setting seeing multiple patients per day. On a normal day, I would shake their hand, touch as clinically necessary, fit and adjust prostheses. I would talk with colleagues in the breakroom while reaching for adjoining coffee mugs and exchange pleasantries with the patients of colleagues I passed near shoulder-to-shoulder in the hall.

By Robert Lin, CPO

Pandemic’s ‘Marathon Journey’ Forces Change

Forcing Change…The intensity, uncertainty, and rolling grip of the COVID-19 pandemic has, without doubt, challenged many of us, both professionally and personally. The arrival of innovative vaccines at the end of 2020 and early 2021 has enabled many countries to slowly return to some degree of normality.

By Sarah Curran, PhD

Limb Preservation in a Post-pandemic World: Virtually or Physically We’re all in this Together

The past 18 months have proven challenging for everyone; however, those afflicted with diabetes have borne a heavier load than most. The increased mortality associated with diabetes1 has justifiably received much attention.

By Ryan T. Crews, PhD, CCRP; Brian D. Lepow, DPM; and David G. Armstrong, DPM, MD, PhD

Making the “New Normal” a “Smarter Normal”

The times are definitely changing and will continue to change for the better. As the rest of the world pulls down their masks, we in the medical community will continue to stay masked, prepared, and ready for change.

By Philip Stotter, CEP

‘Thank You Note’ from the Future Deepens the Meaning of Essential

The COVID-19 pandemic became an unwelcome defining factor of 2020 and into 2021. Now, we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And this makes it a good time to reflect on the pandemic’s effect on podiatric medicine and surgery. It’s also time to ask how we can be prepared for future events that may affect how we practice.

By Andrew Schneider, DPM

Pandemic’s Effects Ripple Into Practices Large and Small

The COVID-19 pandemic’s profound effect on the healthcare system will produce a ripple across all healthcare industry sectors, including podiatric medicine and surgery. Some of these changes are obvious and currently taking place, and many are still to be determined.

By Patrick DeHeer, DPM

Pandemic Changes Paradigm for Where Data Can Be Collected

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth visits has skyrocketed in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. And due to its popularity, the continued use of telehealth is expected. However, while telehealth can be effective in many areas, there are limitations when it comes to characterizing changes in physical function such as gait.

By Patrick Roscher, MS, and Arnaud Gouelle, PhD

Pandemic Proves O,P&P Is Nothing If Not Adaptable

As we pass the midpoint of 2021, our great country is slowly but surely reopening and, hopefully, returning to normal (not the overused-to-the-point-of-being-nonsensical “new normal” that we heard about ad nauseum, but the real “normal” that we all remember and long for).

By Erick Janisse, CPed

Rediscovering Original Purpose

Like many of us, I have had my share of trying times. I remember a quote I read while battling an illness that said, “Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.” This couldn’t be more meaningful than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Rob Conenello, DPM

The Paradox of Modern Technology: Closer But Less Human

COVID-19 has changed the world in ways that we can’t even imagine as of yet. One thing that this pandemic has done is it caused us to distance ourselves from other people and realize the paradox of modern technology.

By Mark Mendeszoon

Research During Pandemic Highlights Athletes’ Need for Sleep

Salerno, Italy: The COVID-19 pandemic has opened a Pandora’s box in the world of professional sport: But that’s not all bad. It has prompted a further and definitive qualitative leap in the application of sports science and medicine principles to a more inclusive vision of the human machine.

By Antonio Robustelli, MSc, CSCS

When Optimal is Not Possible, Go For Sufficient

The field of strength and conditioning encompasses many different career paths and consists of individuals who work with people representing every conceivable part of the human spectrum, from high-performance athletes to the general population to individuals with disabilities or health-related conditions to children and adolescents.

By N. Travis Triplett, PhD, CSCS*D, FNSCA

Like Athletes on the Field, Pandemic Required Pivots with Limited Input

The past few decades have seen a prioritization of evidence-based practice in athletic training, sports medicine, and all of healthcare. The premise of evidence-based practice is that clinical decisions should be based on a combination of the best available research evidence…

By Jay Hertel, PhD, ATC, and Kathy Dieringer, EdD, LAT, ATC

Our Hopes and Challenges as the Pandemic Winds Down

Yes, the pandemic is winding down and so many thanks to all who have helped! An endless array of champions in all areas of our society. The best of us! This has been a year that none of us will ever forget – so many lost and destroyed lives.

By Robert Weil, DPM

At Camp No Limits, Adapt Is What We Do – Every Day!

“Adapt! It’s what we do!” became the 2020 motto for Camp No Limits as the world shut down in March for the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, the pandemic changed things: the way we all had to put our lives on hold, the way we live, and even the way we have hosted camps since our humble beginnings in 2004.

By Mary Leighton, OTR/L