Editor's Note - February 2021

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By Andrea Spridgen

As any clinician can tell you, deciding which O&P device to recommend for a patient is multifaceted. Practitioners consider their own experience, research, the patients' clinical presentation and personal preferences, new options, and payer reimbursement policies. In this issue we explore the myriad factors that impact O&P clinical decisions in the areas of microprocessor knees (MPKs), prosthetic selection for K2 ambulators, and O&P intervention for foot drop.

"Comparative Efficacy of Microprocessor Knees: The OASIS 1 Findings" discusses the methods and conclusions of the Outcomes Assessment and Dissemination study that sought to establish a clinical practice guideline related to prosthetic knee selection, specifically providing evidence-based guidance in choosing which MPK is appropriate for an individual patient. Because the best research findings on any intervention are often found in journal articles that may not be readily accessible to many clinicians, providing a clinical practice guideline can help practitioners more easily integrate this information into their experience and their patients' mobility needs and personal preferences. While the study indicated that all of the MPKs analyzed are likely to increase patients' mobility and quality of life,

it did reveal some distinctions regarding fall prevention.

With a growing number of amputations resulting from complications of dysvascular disease and the aging population, the number of K2 ambulators is also growing. "K2 Ambulator Options Evolve With Seniors in Mind" explores the variety of prosthetic devices available to help patients at the K2 level achieve their mobility goals. In addition to improvements in prosthetic components approved as K2-appropriate, experts discuss studies that continue to explore the benefit of higher-tech components for safety and increased mobility for K2 ambulators.

"FES and AFOs for Foot Drop: Linking Domains of Patient Experience" looks at research comparing the two different approaches to treating foot drop. Functional electrical stimulation and AFOs both have the immediate effect of preventing foot drop and as such, this article presents the case for looking beyond only one type of outcome to also take into account outcomes in such areas as quality of life, patient satisfaction, and patient participation.

I hope you enjoy this issue exploring clinical decision-making for lower-limb O&P interventions.

Happy reading.