ATLANTA — Prosthetic foot technology is changing the way prosthetists work with patients, according to presenters here at the International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting.
Samuel Hale, MSPO, CPO/L, director of product development and education for Fillauer Companies, gave a presentation that focused on high-activity feet prostheses. He said prostheses have become developed since 2010, when there was generally a separation between devices, such as running blades and standard feet prostheses. He said his company had a request at that time to take a prosthetic running blade and create a foot that allowed the patient to stop, turn and wear normal shoes.
“We combined the running blade with a high-end prosthetic walking foot, and we ended up with a product that allows patients to stop, turn, bounce and go to the office on the same foot, as opposed to having to buy multiple [prosthetic] feet to do all those different things,” Hale told O&P News.
“It’s been exciting because we’ve been able to transition patients over from having to switch over to a sports-specific device to play sports in at the end of the day when they are done with whatever their 9 to 5 is.”
Hale discussed various high-activity feet, depending on the patient’s body and expectations.
“Don’t limit the expectations of your patients,” he said. “Get them back to what they were doing and passionate about before.”
Regarding Hale’s presentation, “it shows that if we take the time to make proper decisions and set up proper alignment, we can get our patients being active again, doing what they want to do – not just running, but all kinds of sports,” Tony Thaxton Jr., CPO, LPO, host of this year’s meeting, told O&P News.
Leslie E. Wright, LCP, COA, a licensed prosthetist and certified orthotic assistant with Hanger Clinic in Decatur, Georgia, said she was interested in the information Hale presented on new options for heavier, active patients.
“The choices of [prosthetic] feet are somewhat limited in heavier patients,” Wright told O&P News.
Matthew Nelson, CPO, senior clinical prosthetist, coding and reimbursement manager for Freedom Innovations, discussed microprocessor ankle technology combined with a carbon fiber foot. Freedom’s Kinnex foot/ankle system is controlled by phone apps by both the prosthetists and patients, he said. A challenge to the first-generation Kinnex system is the weight, which can restrict some patients. Another challenge is insurance reimbursement, he said.
Nelson compared the Kinnex to the Freedom’s Kinterra foot/ankle system, which also is a hydraulic product also a hydraulic foot but is manually adjusted. A big difference between the two products is the range of motion, with Kinterra having a 12-degree range of motion and Kinnex experiencing up to a 30-degree range of motion, he said. – Bruce Thiel
Hale S. No limitations. No limitations! Presented at: International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting; Oct. 26-28; Atlanta.
Nelson M. Freedom ankle systems. Presented at: International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting; Oct. 26-28; Atlanta.
Disclosures: Nelson reports no relevant financial disclosures. O&P News was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures for Hale at time of publication.