ORLANDO, Fla. — This year’s Amputee Coalition National Conference came at a time when the prosthetic industry is undergoing unprecedented expansion, as evidenced by the nearly 1,000 attendees and presenters here June 27–29.

The Amputee Coalition serves more than 2 million people with limb loss and more than 28 million people at risk for amputation.

Showcasing many of the manufacturers and distributors of prostheses in the exhibit hall, the conference also offered an impressive array of extensive peer support programs and clinics with an educational component. Men’s and women’s roundtable discussions and a veterans of limb loss panel, including topics such as parenting with limb loss, parenting a child with limb loss and discussion of industry issues, were designed to help new amputees navigate the difficult road ahead.

Athletic clinics for all

Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation sports-related events were popular, including a First Climb on a rock wall, a First Swim in the hotel’s pool, and a First Dance that gave amputees a chance to enjoy the art of dancing.


Amputees at the Amputee Coalition National Conference step lightly at OPAF First Dance workshops.

Image: Amputee Coalition


Adaptive sports were a new theme at this year’s conference, with activities and programs that included golf, laser target practice, soccer and waterskiing. The highlight at the conference was the mobility enhancement clinic led by Robert Gailey, PhD, PT, and Peter Harsch, CP. The full-day clinic comprised two sessions, including gait analysis and sports/running. Nearly 200 attendees learned exercises to help them use their prostheses more effectively, including drills to improve their balance and mobility skills.

The keynote address featured Roy Bloebaum, PhD, research professor in the department of orthopedics at the University of Utah, who leads a team of researchers working on osseointegration of prosthetic devices for individuals with limb loss.

Record attendance

Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition acknowledged the success of this year’s conference.

president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition acknowledged the success of this year’s conference.


This year’s Amputee Coalition conference had nearly 1,000 attendees.

Image: Andrea Mastrocinque-Martone

“We’re proud to say that the 2013 national conference was the most successful conference in the history of our organization and the conference had record attendance. Attendees made constant comments about the fantastic breakout sessions and keynote speakers and our exhibit hall — which was the also the largest in the history of our organization,” she said. “We are glad to be able to offer the national conference and owe its success to our education and conference committee, our national sponsors, our exhibitors and all those who attended.” — by Andrea Mastrocinque-Martone

Disclosure: Andrea Mastrocinque-Martone is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, and public relations consultant to Ability Dynamics.

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