Hello Team Dankmeyer,
I have been practicing Physical Therapy for ten years and have worked with orthoses and prostheses a little over the year, but I just moved to the rehab setting and have both inpatients and outpatients with O&P needs. Since I have not been doing a lot with orthoses and prostheses I want to know what is new. How I can learn about new technology and treatment techniques?
Sincerely, - Suzanne H
Thank you for the question, Suzanne. There have been some changes in the O&P service delivery over the last few decades including medical/surgical, skill training for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists, and orthosis and prosthesis design and technology. For example, the use of microprocessor controlled and powered prosthetic joints (hand, elbow, foot/ankle, knees) is now much more common than even ten years ago and has allowed us to achieve improved patient functional outcomes. This is particularly true when coupled with good medical/surgical management and, most importantly, solid use training in therapies. Some of the advances include application of that same microprocessor technology to knee ankle foot orthosis design. To see information on Ottobock's C-Brace click here. You will also see more frequent use of composite material in lower limb orthoses to reduce weight, increase flexibility and energy return and improve gait safety and efficiency - such as Ottobock's WalkOn products. Click on any of these links to get more Information about a number of other prosthetic and orthotic technologies from Allard, BeBionic, Becker Orthopedic, Custom Composite, Fillauer, Kinetic Research, Ottobock, Phatbrace, Trulife. There are way too many details to include in this post.
As far as learning about new treatment options - there are continuing education (CE) opportunities available from a variety of organizations. The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), and the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) have many online opportunities. Your own regional PT association and your regional O&P association may have CE options as well. At Dankmeyer, we provide as many courses as we can. In fact, we have a course coming up in November on 11/19/16 - Trans-femoral Prosthesis Prescription and Training Considerations: An Update. You can take a look at details on our Events page. We also offer a variety of inservices and courses to review O&P info with busy clinicians at their facilities during the day or after work. We generally set up the course or inservice based on the request of the practice. For more information, you can click here. Another tool is our monthly newsletter and you can subscribe to that via our website as well.
I hope this has answered a few of your questions - obviously there is a lot to look at and think about here as you pursue your goals. We are always ready to help.
-Mark Hopkins, PT, CPO, MBA, CEO and President Dankmeyer, Inc.
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