ACPOC Members Travel to Montreal

The Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC) 2008 Annual Meeting was held April 9 through April 12 in Montreal. Hosted by The Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant, this year’s meeting featured more than 200 health professionals — including orthotists, prosthetists, orthopedic surgeons, and occupational and physical therapists — with a wealth of information about health care topics affecting children throughout North America and around the world.


The ACPOC meeting featured more than 200 health professionals and a full exhibit hall.

This year’s Presidential Guest Lecturer was Jacques D’Astous, MD, FRCS(C), pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Shriners Hospital for Children and a member of the consulting staff at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. D’Astous presented “Early Onset Scoliosis: An ‘Old Fashioned’ Alternative to High Tech Surgery,” which questioned the role of traction and casting in today’s pediatric care. In his discussion, D’Astous stressed the need for alternatives to orthopedic surgery and spinal fusion to preserve thoracic function, and recommended casting as a means of treatment.

James A. Harder, MD, chief of the Juvenile Amputee Clinic at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, presented this year’s Hector W. Kay Memorial Lecture. In his presentation, titled “Critical Decisions That Change Life,” Harder spoke about the numerous changes the ACPOC organization has experienced throughout the years, as well as the progression of prosthetic treatment over time.

He also highlighted the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of children. With a team working to care for children with limb differences and childhood disorders, limb salvage may become more common.


Throughout the 4 days of the meeting, attendees were treated to a host of educational workshops and lectures on the subjects of upper and lower limb orthotic and prosthetic management, physical and mental well being, challenging pathologies, spinal management, and motion analysis.

Many of the programs featured recurring themes such as the importance of parental involvement and encouragement, outsmarting the child “escape artist” with better orthotic management, and the future of multidisciplinary treatment for children.

“Yes I Can!: The Attitude Obtained by a Child With Bilateral Shoulder Disarticulation After Attending a Children’s Prosthetic Camp,” presented by Suzie E. Williams, BS, CP, highlighted the need for peer interaction as part of a child’s development, and the importance of parental acceptance of prosthetic care.

“Upper Limb Prosthetics Forum: Clinical and Technical Tips to Successful Fittings,” with Gerald Stark, CP, Robert Lipschutz, CP, and David Rotter, CPO, invited conversation among attendees regarding health care professionals’ often creative approaches to treating children with upper extremity amputations.

“Expecting a Limb Deficient Child: How the Increase in Prenatal Diagnosis Changes the Needs in Counseling and Support for Families,” presented by Christiane de Tonnancour, MPs, reviewed the impact of health professionals on the new parents of a child with limb deficiency or difference. For parents learning of these issues pre- and postnatally, doctors and O&P professionals should offer ample information and support.


Attendees were invited to attend technical workshops, product demonstrations and the annual ACPOC member business meeting. In addition, the meeting offered several poster presentations and a full exhibit hall with more than 20 exhibitors.

Each evening’s sessions concluded with activities such as a reception, dinner dance and sightseeing tours of Montréal.

The ACPOC 2009 Annual Meeting will be held in Tempe, Ariz., from May 20 through May 23.

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