Category Archives: Issues

September 2013

Orthotic Solutions for Children with Hypotonia

New research underscores years of positive clinical results
When it comes to orthotic management of pediatric patients with hypotonia, the medical literature is only beginning to document the effectiveness that clinicians have been reporting anecdotally for years.

By Cary Groner

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September 2013

Orthotic success stories: Four cases in a series

Each child in this case series was assessed every other week for 16 weeks to determine mastery of items 23, 26-28, 30-39, and 41 (ranging from “pull to stand” to “walk fast”) on the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale. Test instructions were modified as needed for children to understand them. Parents were included in each session and encouraged to play with the child in order to demonstrate the targeted skills. Graphs illustrate age of mastery for each item number for the hypotonic child compared to a “typical” child, with linear trend lines illustrating rate of change, and demonstrate the improved mastery of skills after prescription of supramalleolar orthoses (SMOs). The cases will be presented in September at the O&P World Congress in Orlando, FL.

By Megan Smith, CO

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October 2012

Energy efficiency with AFO use varies in cerebral palsy patients

Longer strides lead to increased work
Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are regularly prescribed to children with walking disabilities resulting from cerebral palsy, yet the effects of AFOs on energy recovery and work during gait are still unclear.

By Samantha Rosenblum

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October 2012

Biomodel could help researchers optimize clubfoot brace design

Method includes complex rotations
A surrogate biomodel of a child’s lower extremities, in particular the ability to model movement along multiple axes of rotation, could help improve researchers’ biomechanical understanding of bracing for clubfoot.

By Emily Delzell

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October 2012

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis study reveals footcare information gap

Issues involve custom foot orthoses
A Scottish study suggests foot care in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) falls short because of poor access to care and negative perceptions about custom foot orthoses. Experts say those issues may be less prevalent in the US but emphasize the need to educate patients, parents, and referring clinicians about the benefits of lower extremity care.

By Larry Hand

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October 2012

Early ACL surgery could lower risk of associated knee damage

Patterns mirror those seen in adults
Timing of reconstruction surgery after pediatric anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries seems to be related to the prevalence of meniscal and chondral injuries discovered during those surgeries, according to new research published in the September issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

By Cary Groner

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October 2012

Wearing athletic shoes affects some performance measures

Standing long jump distance improves
Research has recently begun to clarify footwear’s effects on gait and functional performance in children, but the broader implications of the findings remain a matter of debate.

By Cary Groner

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October 2012

Dynamic data in obese children may suggest gait compensation

Low force values surprise researchers
An Austrian study exploring the role of genu valgum and flatfoot in obese and normal weight children found obesity was associated with higher peak plantar pres­sures, but lower maximum force while walking, when forces were normalized to body weight.

By Christina Hall Nettles

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October 2012

Experts debate relative benefits of screening feet for risk factors

Most question emphasis on flatfoot
The value of screening programs for pediatric foot problems—primarily flatfoot—was recently challenged in a commentary by Australian podiatrist Angela Evans, PhD, a researcher and lecturer in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

By Cary Groner

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July 2011

New papers revisit, rekindle flexible flatfoot controversy

“Other considerations” spark debate

In January 2010, when LER first covered the controversy, Australian podiatrist and researcher Angela Evans, PhD, had recently published a paper in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association suggesting that children whose feet were flatter than expected, but asymptomatic, should be monitored rather than automatically treated with orthoses.

By Cary Groner

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