Just in Time for the Annual Meeting: Academy Annual Meeting Sessions Sneak Peek

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By Joyce Perrone, Jonathan S. Akins, Andrea Ikeda, David Knapp, Michael Fotis, Christopher Robinson

Skills to Develop That Will Inspire Staff to Take Ownership

Joyce Perrone

This session will offer tips to instill leadership techniques to instill leadership techniques among the staff of O&P businesses, which can reduce employee turnover. Empowering staff members can also inspire them to excel at their jobs and help the company grow. The session will also be valuable for staff members to attend to learn more about energizing them in their work and in support of their employers. Perrone will explain how to develop transparency and discuss common worries of business owners about sharing proprietary information with their staff. The discussion will include tips about retaining good talent and keeping employees engaged.

Reduced Turn Ability, Transfer Ability, and Balance Confidence in Prosthesis Users with History of Falls

Jonathan S. Akins, PhD

Lower-limb prosthesis users with a history of falls have worse turning gait performance, reduced sit-to-stand transfer ability, and reduced balance confidence when compared to non-fallers. This session will focus on research conducted by Akins and his colleagues to determine if prostheses users who have a history of falls have slower Figure-of-8 Walk Test (F8WT) results, reduced sit-to-stand transfer ability, and poorer balance confidence when compared to non-fallers. Using the same criteria, the study also evaluated differences between people who use transfemoral prostheses and those who use transtibial prostheses.

According to Akins' research, results of the F8WT can be associated with fall risk and requires participants to turn toward the prosthetic side and the sound side. Sit-to-stand asymmetries are prevalent among prosthesis users and asymmetrical loading may negatively impact lower-limb strength and endurance. Reduced lower-limb strength and endurance may be related to increased fall risk. The study's results show that the assessments were significantly different between fallers and non-fallers.

Akins will describe how, with limited clinical space, the assessments may provide a method for assessing balance during gait and transfers among clients with unilateral lower-limb amputations.

Carbon Fiber Ankle Foot Orthoses: Matching Device to Patient

Andrea Ikeda, MS, CP; David Knapp, CPO, M.Ed

In this session, the presenters will summarize the results of several recent research studies conducted at the Brooke Army Medical Center's Center for the Intrepid, San Antonio, that evaluated the effectiveness the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO). Biomechanical and physical performance data will be presented to provide insight into the function of the device, and characterize the types of individuals who may benefit. The discussion will include passive dynamic AFOs and the criteria by which orthoses are selected for patients who need lower-limb orthoses, including four major criteria: stiffness, neutral angle, energy return, and range of motion.

Prescription Medications for O&P

Michael Fotis, PhD; Christopher Robinson, MS, MBS, CPO, ATC, FAAOP(D)

There are about 15,000 drugs on the U.S. market. In this session, Fotis will help simplify prescription medicines that are commonly used by people who have amputations. He will explain how pharmacology is a bridge that can link physiology, pathophysiology, and medicine. He will help O&P practitioners understand the underlying principles of pharmacology and physiology to apply them to clinical situations.

The session will begin with a review of basic pharmacologic principles, before a discussion about analgesic medications, medications for treating hypertension, heart failure, and elevated cholesterol. The final topic will cover medications used to treat diabetes mellitus. Each topic will begin with the discovery and history of the medications, how they work, and what they are used for. The session will include the medications' quality of evidence for efficacy and benefit, how choices are made between similar medications, and a summary of important adverse effects of treatment.