ACPOC Members Meet in Atlanta

ACPOC Members Meet in Atlanta

Atlanta played host to the 2007 ACPOC annual meeting.
© 2007,, JupiterImages Corporation

The Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC) annual meeting was held April 11-14 in Atlanta. Hosted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, this year’s meeting raised awareness on a host of topics affecting O&P health care opportunities for children across the United States and around the world.

Invited speakers

This year’s Hector W. Kay Memorial Lecturer was John R. Fisk, MD, professor and chief of the division of pediatric orthopedic surgery at Southern Illinois University school of medicine. Speaking on what ACPOC has done for him over the course of his career it was his hope, through his informative and passionate lecture, that he would “ignite the enthusiasm” in at least one person in the audience as his was when introduced to the organization.

Among his lengthy list of accomplishments including his dedication as the president of ACPOC from 1988-1990 and his vice presidency of the International Society for Prosthetists and Orthotists for the past 3 years. Fisk recently added the foundation of a clubfoot care program in Tanzania to his resume. Following his retirement from teaching this coming July, Fisk will continue to support this new endeavor.

This year’s Presidential Guest Lecturer was Mark Huang, MD, assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University and attending physician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Speaking on the topic of “Multiple Limb Amputation Following Pupura Fulminans: Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Considerations,” Huang enlightened the audience on the sobering statistics associated with this disease: fatality in up to 90% of cases which takes place within 48 hours and multi-organ system failure in as many as 94% of cases. Huang also offered suggestions for acute pain management as well as case examples to support his findings.

Dynamic programs

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta symbol
The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta symbol representing excellence in patient care, research and education welcomed ACPOC attendees outside of the Peachtree Ballroom.

The 3 days of educational workshops and lectures were packed with information in the areas of physical and mental well being, challenging pathologies, spinal management, lower limb orthotic and prosthetic management, upper limb prosthetic management and motion analysis.

Recurring themes that overlapped within sessions included the importance of positive body image, strong support networks of both family and health care professionals and tackling childhood obesity.

“The Effect of Physical Activity on Amputee Body Image,” presented by Kimberly K. Hill explored the positive correlation between physical activity in both amputee and able-bodied populations.

“The Prevalence of Obesity in a Pediatric Lower Extremity Amputee Population,” presented by Edward A. Skewes, CPO, opened up conversation among attendees addressing the need for earlier intervention on the part of dieticians as well as a need for increased avenues for exercise in this population to combat rising numbers of childhood obesity.

“Instilling Confidence in Parents of Children with Limb Loss through a Network of Trained Peers,” presented by Charlene J. Whelan, LCSW, MBA addressed the positive outcomes of parental peer networks in this smaller population. Approximately 70,000 of the 1.9 million Americans living with limb loss or difference are children.

Outcomes measurement was also a hot topic as many attendees were interested in seeking better ways to validate their findings. Mark D. Geil, PhD presented two lectures which dealt with the validation of measurements (“CAD Systems Produce Consistent and Accurate Measurements of Clinically Useful Residual Limb Anthropometric Measures’) and motion analysis (“Measurement and Outcomes: Practical Tools for Analysis of Motion and Evidence-Based Practice”).

A number of case studies were presented with both positive and negative outcomes for which attendees were able to make future recommendations and share their own experiences. Among these topics were: “Orthotic Management of Gorham-Stout Syndrome” and “Halo Gravity Traction” presented by Richard Welling, MSPO; “Ultra-Flexible TLSO Design for Neurologic Scoliosis Management,” presented by Nancy Hylton, PT.

Attendees explore the exhibit hall and meet with vendors Attendees explore the exhibit hall and meet with vendors
Attendees explore the exhibit hall and meet with vendors Attendees explore the exhibit hall and meet with vendors
Attendees explore the exhibit hall and meet with vendors about the latest in child health care while taking a break from educational sessions.
Images: Jennifer Hoydicz

Motion analysis was the hot topic which ended the conference. A number of insightful presentations were given including: “A Functional Comparison of Solid and Articulated AFOs During Walking and Running in Children with Spastic Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy,” presented by Bridget M. Lawlor and “Evaluation of Short-Term Intensive Orthotic Garment Use in Children with Cerebral Palsy,” presented by Mary E. Peer, MSPT, PCS.

The next ACPOC annual meeting will be held April 9-12, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Montreal.

— Jennifer Hoydicz
staff writer

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