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Barriers, Enablers Affect Lower-limb Amputees’ Community Walking

Since walking in the community is essential to participate in work, leisure, social activities and family roles, a study explored potential barriers and enablers for people with lower-limb amputations who use a prosthesis to walk in public. The study found many barriers, but enablers were also identified. Three focus groups (n = 14 participants) using purposive sampling...

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Massive Medicare Fraud Scheme Exposed

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced multiple indictments and law enforcement actions related to one of the nation’s largest healthcare fraud schemes. The announcement came Tuesday, April 9, and stems from an investigation that resulted in charges against 24 defendants, including the CEOs, COOs and others associated with five telemedicine companies, as well...

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U.S. Healthcare Spending Highest Among Developed Countries

The United States, on a per capita basis, spends much more on healthcare than other developed countries; the chief reason is not greater healthcare utilization, but higher prices, according to a study from a team led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) researcher. The researchers determined that the higher overall healthcare...

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Amputee Coalition President, CEO Retiring

The Amputee Coalition and Jack Richmond, CPOA, CFo, announced his retirement from the role of president and CEO. Richmond, who has held the position since 2016, will stay on for the next several months and work with the board of directors in its search for a successor.  “I feel fortunate that over the years I...

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Exercise May Help Fight Depression in Seniors

Kinesiologists at McMaster University have found that physical activity may help fight depression in seniors by stimulating muscle-generated mood boosters. The findings, published in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology, reveal that the underlying mechanisms that make us feel good when we exercise persist into old age and highlight the importance of staying active. “A...

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Research Finds Individualized Diets Most Effective for Managing Blood Sugar

An individualized diet based on a person’s genetics, microbiome, and lifestyle is more effective in controlling blood glucose (sugar) levels than one that considers only nutritional composition of food, Mayo Clinic researchers have confirmed. The research published in JAMA Network Open demonstrates that each person’s body responds differently to similar foods, due to the unique composition...

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Proteins Regenerate Residual Bone and Joints After Amputation

Researchers at Texas A&M University and Tulane University have found that treating amputation wounds in mice with two proteins encouraged growth of the residual bone and joint. Because the human skeletal structure is similar to a mouse, the researchers are optimistic that one day the discovery will help people with amputations regrow limbs. The research...

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Parental Support Needed for Children With Limb Differences

Rehabilitative care for children with limb differences often includes the provision and use of a prosthesis. However, there is little research about how parents experience and respond to their child’s limb difference and prosthesis use. A study published online February 2 in Disability and Rehabilitationjournal explored the experiences of parenting a child with limb difference...

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Judge Certifies Class Action in Prosthetics Suit

A California federal judge has certified a class of more than 1,000 UnitedHealth Group beneficiaries accusing the insurer of denying benefits for prosthetic limbs in violation of federal benefits law. Two previous certification bids failed. According to Law 360, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter ruled that the beneficiaries have shown there are “significant questions...

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NAAOP Webcast: O&P Profession Planning Legislation to Protect Patients

The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP) has released its latest webcast in which general counsel Peter Thomas, JD, comments on the federal budget proposals for fiscal year 2020, which will be released late due to the federal government shutdown. When the proposals are made public, NAAOP will report on their...

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Clinical Practice Guideline Developed for Prosthetic Knee Selection

Phil Stevens, MEd, CPO, and Shane Wurdeman, PhD, MSPO, CP, have published a clinical practice guideline that was developed to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on prosthetic knee selection for people with unilateral amputations at the knee disarticulation or transfemoral level. The open-access article was published in the January issue of the Journal...

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Reinforcement Learning Expedites Tuning of Robotic Prostheses

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State), the University of North Carolina (UNC), and Arizona State University (ASU) have developed an intelligent system for tuning powered prosthetic knees, allowing patients to walk comfortably with the device in about ten minutes. The system is the first to rely solely on reinforcement learning to tune the...

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Our Bodies May Cure Themselves of Diabetes in the Future

Diabetes is caused by damaged or non-existing insulin cells’ inability to produce insulin, a hormone that is necessary in regulating blood sugar levels. Many diabetes patients take insulin supplements to regulate these levels. In collaboration with other international researchers, researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) have discovered that glucagon-producing cells in the pancreas can...

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Prices Rising Even for Older Drugs

It’s no secret that drug prices are increasing, but to what extent are rising costs explained by the advent of newer, better drugs? A study from the University of Pittsburgh found that new drugs entering the market do drive up prices, but drug companies are also hiking prices on older drugs. The paper, published in...

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Three Tips for Sticking With Your New Year’s Resolutions

By February, nearly 80 percent of Americans will give up on their New Year’s resolutions, but Tomeka Flowers, a Houston Methodist behavioral development coordinator and certified lifestyle coach, says making a few simple changes can help people reach their goals. “The majority of New Year’s resolutions are about getting healthy—eating better, drinking more water, and...

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Adjustable Sockets May Help Control Fluid Volume in Residual Limb

Existing prosthetic technologies’ adjustable sockets and locking pin tethers can be used in novel ways to help maintain residual limb fluid volume in active prosthesis users with transtibial amputations. Researchers examined if either of two accommodation strategies executed during resting—socket release with full socket size return and socket release with partial socket size return—enhanced limb...

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Depression Often Follows Dysvascular Amputation

Individuals undergoing lower-limb amputations secondary to dysvascular disease were found to have depressive symptoms during the first year after the procedure, according to a study published online December 31, 2018, in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Patients were surveyed four times (perioperative period and six weeks, four months, and 12 months post-amputation) at...

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Amputation Level Affects Child’s Physical, Sports Function

Sports and physical functioning of children with amputations were significantly worse after amputations near the knee when compared with ankle-level amputations, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Researchers considered whether children with amputations have differences in subjective function based on amputationlevel and whether children with more...

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TMR on Transtibial Amputees Reduces Initial Phantom Limb Pain

Physicians at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine are pioneering the use of primary targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) to prevent or reduce debilitating phantom limb and residual limb pain in individuals with transtibial amputations. Primary TMR has shown to reduce phantom limb and residual limb pain, as reported in recent...

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Leaders Launch Global Campaign for Inclusive and Accessible Cities

On December 3, World Enabled andthe German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) hosted a celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the launch ofthe Cities For All global campaign and theGlobal Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities. This event gathered city leaders from New York City, São Paulo, Chicago,...

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Insole Provides Oxygen to Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Purdue University researchers have developed a shoe insole that could help make the healing process more portable for the 15 percent of Americans who develop ulcers as a result of diabetes. The researchers used lasers to shape silicone-based rubber into insoles, and then created reservoirs that release oxygen only at the part of the foot...

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OPAF Receives $3,600 Swim Grant

The Orthotics & Prosthetics Activities Foundation (OPAF) and the First Clinics along with the First Swim Training and Clinic program was recently awarded a $3,600 grant from U.S. Masters Swim and its Adult Learn To Swim program. The funds will come via the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation and will be used in 2019. OPAF plans...

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Co-founder of LegWorks Named to Forbes 30 Under 30

Forbes Magazine has named Brandon Burke, co-founder and chief product officer of LegWorks, headquartered in Buffalo, New York, as one of its 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs and innovators. LegWorks produces and delivers high-functioning and affordable prosthetic technology globally. The awards are given to “bold risk-takers putting a new twist on the old tools of the...

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Less Exercise May Still Yield Benefits

A Beaumont Health study featured in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, found that middle-aged and older women who exercise moderately to vigorously, three times a week for at least 30 minutes, were able to significantly reduce cardiac risk factors in just six months....

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Recognizing Capability and Ability, Not Disability

Charlene Liles, outpatient medical records technician, processes approximately 100 weekly requests for release of information at Naval Hospital Bremerton’s (NHB) Medical Records Department. The electronic mail, postal service, and fax machine requests are her obligation, and then some. She’s ready and responsible for any requirement. It’s that professional capability, as well as personal ability, that...

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Female Double Amputee Plans to Complete NYC Full Marathon

Brazilian athlete and bilateral lower-limb amputee Adriele Silva, 31, looks forward to crossing the finish line at mile 26.2 of the 2018 TCS New York City (NYC) Marathon on Sunday, November 4. “I hope to inspire people when they see me run and challenge them to go after things that seem unachievable,” said Silva, who...

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Neuroprosthetic Advance May Improve Prosthetic Touch and Phantom Limb Pain

Scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, have developed a miniaturized electronic platform for the stimulation and recording of peripheral nerve fibers on a chip. The platform paves the way for using chips to improve neuroprosthetic designs, which may lead to restoration of the sense of touch for people who use prosthetic...

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New Research, Tools Center on Treating Phantom Limb Pain

Max Ortiz-Catalan, PhD, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, who conducts research using augmented reality to reduce phantom limb pain (PLP) in people with amputations, has developed a new theory and treatment for PLP that could lead to more effective treatment. Also advancing treatment of PLP, a new virtual reality (VR) tool is having success...

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AOPA Says BCBS Draft Policy Would Decrease Access to Prostheses

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) said on October 1 that a draft policy governing coverage of lower-limb prostheses would significantly reduce access to advanced prosthetic technology for Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) subscribers in several states. The draft policy was issued by Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC), which operates BCBS of Illinois, Texas,...

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Paralympian Named Individual Sportswoman of the Year

Oksana Masters became just the second Paralympian honored as the individual sportswoman of the year at the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute to Women in Sports ceremony on October 17 in New York City. Masters, 28, won five medals at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, including her first gold. Despite battling through an elbow...

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First Things First Training and Clinic Teaches About Falls

Bionic Prosthetic & Orthotics, headquartered in Merrillville, Indiana, hosted an Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF) First Things First Training and Clinic at Indiana Wesleyan University in Merrillville on September 22. The event was coordinated with Össur Americas and instruction was led by Chris Doerger PT, CP. First Things First is a workshop on falls...

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NAAOP Webcast: Fellowship Program Extended to 2019

The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has released its latest webcast in which General Counsel Peter Thomas, JD, comments on the success and extension of its fellowship program as well as the upcoming pre-midterm elections, which could include a number of bills that will impact the healthcare area. The NAAOP...

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NIH, DOD to Develop Limb Loss and Preservation Registry

A new database supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD) aims to establish the number of people in the United States living with limb loss and to provide insight on their challenges and needs. The Limb Loss and Preservation Registry, expected to be operational in 2020, will be...

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