June 2017

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Cover Story

Slacklining: Trendy sport takes balance training to new heights

As slacklining’s popularity grows, researchers have begun to uncover physiological and neurological evidence for how and why the activity may be beneficial to people with balance, strength, and mobility issues.

By Brigid Elsken Galloway

Editor Message

Out on a limb: Valuable testimony

A person’s testimony doesn’t always agree with objective evidence—that’s why some defense attorneys won’t allow their clients to take the stand during a trial, even in their own defense. Similarly, as most clinicians know, patient-reported outcomes aren’t always consistent with objective measures of function.

By Jordana Bieze Foster, Editor

2017 ISPO World Conference

Next Level Thinking in O&P:

Cape Town, South Africa, isn’t easy to get to from most first-world countries. But the experts who gathered there in May for the biennial International Society for Prosthetics & Orthotics World Congress aren’t known for taking the easiest path to effective patient care. Research presented at this year’s congress, and the related discussions among attendees that followed, illustrate the many ways specialists from around the world are reexamining traditional interventions to give O&P device users even greater mobility, functionality, and satisfaction.

All articles by Jordana Bieze Foster

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Study challenging Root concepts reignites debate

The latest paper to challenge biomechanics-based foot orthotic management concepts developed decades ago has revital­ized a long-running discussion among foot specialists about how to define normal structure and function and which assessments should be used in prescribing foot orthoses.

By Cary Groner

Minimalist shoes: Risks and benefits for runners

Although there may be benefits to a change in running footwear, there are also risks associated with a switch to minimalist running shoes. Alterations in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics associated with transitioning to minimalist footwear are likely to be unique to each runner.

By J. Todd Walker, MD; Donna Moxley Scarborough, PT, MS; Eric M. Berkson, MD; and Matthew J. Salzler, MD

Management of painful plantar fat pad atrophy

Aging and a number of medical conditions can lead to atrophy of the fat pads under the heel and forefoot, which often causes considerable pain. Cushioned footwear and orthoses are mainstays of treatment, but research also supports the use of fat grafting in recalcitrant cases.

By Barbara Boughton 


In the Moment: Sports Medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

ACLR aftershocks: Deficits linger after return to sports

Several studies presented in early June at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting in Denver add to the growing body of research suggesting some biomechanical deficits linger for a year after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), even in athletes who have been cleared to return to sports.

Plantar sensation fails to explain shift in foot strike during barefoot running

Sensory feedback research from Colorado appears to challenge the popular belief that barefoot runners tend to adopt a forefoot-strike pattern to avoid the discomfort of landing on an unprotected heel.

NHL study adds to evidence linking concussion, lower body injury risks

A study of National Hockey League (NHL) injuries adds to the evidence suggesting concussion significantly increases the risk of lower body injury in athletes, and vice-versa.

In the Moment: Geriatrics

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Forward progress on falls: Studies explore risk factors, intervention

The multiple factors that contribute to the risk of falls in older adults present a complicated clinical puzzle, but researchers are making progress on putting some of those pieces together, as evidenced by several studies presented in late May and early June at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting in Denver.

Ankle proprioception in older adults diminishes to level of adolescents

Ankle proprioception peaks in young adulthood, and in elderly individuals—even the health­iest—declines to levels similar to those of adolescents, according to research presented in early June at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Denver.

Carbon-fiber AFOs help propel patients with PAD while preserving calf muscle

Use of carbon-fiber ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) assists with propulsion in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) without compromising calf muscle integrity, according to research from the University of Montana in Missoula.

Market Mechanics

By Emily Delzell

Paralympian to run for U Arkansas

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in May reported that double-amputee Hunter Woodhall has committed to run track for the university in the 2017-2018 season.

TCI names BOC CEO top female biz leader

The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) of South Florida in May recognized Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE, president and CEO of the Owing Mills, MD-based Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC), as a top 50 women-led business leader at its 12th annual Top Women-Led Businesses Luncheon, held in Miami.

Powerstep acquires Light Orthotics

West Chester, OH-based Powerstep in April announced the acquisition of Light Orthotics, headquartered in Westlake Village, CA.

ACSM urges caution in peds stem cell work

The Indianapolis, IN-based American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in May released a call to action paper outlining major priorities for research in regenerative medicine therapies in pediatric sports injuries.

Shriners—St. Louis opens MSK lab

Shriners Hospitals for Children— St. Louis in May celebrated the official opening of its research lab focusing on regenerative medicine and pediatric musculoskeletal research.

Brenau DPT program marks milestone

Brenau University’s three-year-old physical therapy (PT) doctoral degree program in May marked important milestones with the matriculation of 40 members of the new physical therapy cohort

Data validate uses for Zeno walkway

Research from Elon University in North Carolina presented at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting held in late May and early June in Boulder, CO, validated Havertown, PA-based Protokinetics Zeno walkway for measuring spatiotemporal parameters of backward gait in older adults and breast cancer survivors.

U Maryland adopts PhysiMax system

Bronx, NY-based PhysiMax and the University of Maryland Department of Athletics in College Park announced in May that the department will follow a successful pilot program of the company’s movement assessment technology with a wider rollout.

OLT offers 3D-printed custom sandals

Windsor, Canada-based TDL Systems’ OLT Footcare in May began a Kickstarter campaign for its 3D-printed custom sandals.

Pairing Evenup lift, walking boot helps gait

The Journal of Allied Health in June published a study of Buford, GA-based Evenup’s shoe lift, showing the device offered clinically meaningful improvements in lower extremity function and disability over usual care in individuals with temporary limb length inequality.

Cure, GCI work to end clubfoot disability

New Cumberland, PA-based Cure International, along with its partners in the Oxford, UK-based Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI), on June 3—World Clubfoot Day—launched a strategy to end worldwide clubfoot disability by 2030.

Sanford, UND plan ortho residency program

Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls, SD, and the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in Grand Forks, ND, announced in May the organizations are collaborating on an Orthopedic Residency Program set to begin in summer 2018.


Vim & Vigr Compression Socks

Vim & Vigr offers a line of stylish, high-quality compression socks for men and women. Developed in partnership with vascular surgeons and vein clinics, the compression socks are engineered to help energize the legs, prevent swelling, alleviate fatigue, speed muscle…

Plantar Fasciitis Ankle Brace

The BRD Sport Plantar Fasciitis Brace, which provides compression and stability for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, is now easier for patients to put on. The sock-like design allows the brace to slip easily onto the foot, and the 3D knit structure now is looser in certain areas to…

Organic Pro 30 Protein Powder

Designer Protein’s Organic Pro 30 plant-based performance protein powder is formulated to aid postworkout recovery and soothe sore legs. Organic Pro 30 is packed with 30 g of organic, vegan protein per serving, including non-GMO pea protein and organic sprouted rice protein.

Calf Sleeves In New Colors

Sigvaris Performance Sleeves are now available in the US market in three dynamic new shades: steel blue, blood orange, and limeade. Featuring 20-30 mm Hg of medical-grade graduated compression, the calf sleeves are designed to help improve circulation and reduce muscle…

Elite Ortho FSX Air Walker

Advantage by Elite Ortho­pae­dics introduces the FSX Air Walker for management of ankle strains and sprains, forefoot sprains, stable foot fractures, and distal tibial features. A durable, semirigid shell helps support the limb while providing protection.

Compression Knee Sleeve

Brownmed now offers the new Imak Compression Arthritis Knee Sleeve for people living with chronic pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, overuse, neuropathy, joint swelling, and other conditions. The sleeve provides mild compression for warmth and to help increase circulation…

Strideway Gait Analysis Walkway

Tekscan presents Strideway, a next-generation walkway for human gait analysis. This new modular pressure measurement platform provides kinetic, temporal, and spatial gait parameters, as well as pressure and force measurements for a comprehensive gait analysis.

Insite Fusion Elite Insole

Insite Insoles offers the Fusion Elite Insole, with a semiflex shell. Its composite shell material is strong but more flexible than the carbon fiber shell of the company’s Carbon Pro insole. It features two layers of foam materials—one to decelerate force and another to transfer energy…

Hinged Thermal Vent Knee Brace

Swede-O Thermal Vent ROM Open Wrap Hinged Knee Brace combines range of motion (ROM) control, medial and lateral stability, and compressive support for mild to moderate knee instabilities. Easy to use ROM hinges help provide medial and lateral knee stability, and have flexion and…

Extremit-Ease Compression

Amerx Health Care has unveiled the Extremit-Ease Compression Garment for reducing lower leg edema. Extremit-Ease easy-to-use, adjustable wrap that provides 30-50 mm Hg of compression. A zipper and bun­gee cords with large tabs make application and adjustment of the…

Biofreeze Professional

Inspired by the success of its Biofreeze cold therapy product for topical pain relief, Performance Health introduces Bio­freeze Professional, which optimizes key ingredients in the original Biofreeze formula for a longer-lasting experience that is only available through healthcare professionals.

Circulatory Insole System

Footbeat is an insole-based wearable technology featuring a small embedded engine that promotes circulation by applying precise, cyclic pressure to the arch. This system acts as a “heart,” reproducing the circulatory benefits of walking even when the user is at rest, which can help revitalize…