Students Create New AFO? Why does it look like it is from the 60’s?

http://3dprintingindustry.com/news/students-create-new-ankle-foot-orthosis-82490/

Any comments?  I am still trying to process the article.  Too many misleading statements.  Where do we begin

1. “Additive manufacturing can change the face of prosthetic and orthotic medicine because both are stuck in the relative dark ages when it comes to fitting and producing new ones. It’s a time-consuming and expensive process that often requires multiple fittings.”

-Multiple fittings? Dark Ages?

2. “Making an AFO is a complex process, though, and it takes a number of fittings. That includes scanning, molding, vacuum heat forming and fitting. It can take up to a month and costs as much as $2000.”

-Take up to a month? Is 3D printing not a complex process?  What happens when you are 18 hours into your print and there is a glitch?

3. “Removing the excessive fittings were one of the main goals and it achieved this with a 3D scanner to create a millimeter precise model of the patient’s leg and foot. Simply put, if the first model is right then the first fitting is the only fitting.”

-One fitting?  Wow!  Anyone that has worked with the human body knows that this is a stretch.

4. “After weighing up the options, the students came back with good news and reported that PLA and PETG offer the best overall solution for an AFO.”

-Really?  Did you look at the fatigue cycles?  How many steps do patients walk in one year? So remind me, how long will the AFO last?

5. “The team of students managed to cut the fitting time from four weeks to just two days with rapid prototyping. They also slashed the costs and the experiment has been hailed as a massive success.”

-Four weeks? Did the 3D printer do the paperwork, check insurance, get authorization?

Summary:

3D Printing is amazing technology.  I am a fan of technology and it will play a part in the field of orthotics and prosthetics.  The problem with this article is that the Nick Hall really did not do much research on the industry and was not honest with those who read it.

 

 

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Can Brent spell?

I am not the greatest writer/speller/sentence creator but I am using blogging to help me get better.  I love sharing information and sometimes  press “publish” too soon.

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Why is the Rush Foot so Popular?

I was having a conversation with a friendand fellow prosthetist.  We were discussing which feet we used and he said that at the last Amputee Coalition of America conference the Rush Foot seem to be the foot of choice. He seemed a little perplexed because he had never used one before. I told him if he used one he probably would not order anything else.
I have been using the  Rush Foot for as long as they have been around. I continue to use it because patients love it. The walking is smooth, uneven terrain is not an issue, hills and ramps are no problem. The only issue I have had is one foot started to make a clicking sound and I could not trace it down. The clicking sound ended up being the foot starting to delaminate. When I started speaking with the people at Rush I realized I had gone too soft on a patient  who was a super high activity patient. The foot was essentially two categories less than what he needed. They replaced the foot under warranty without a hesitation. Great customer service! Great foot! Order one! Your patients will thank you.


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Review: Keeping Pace High Top Shoes

Theses shoes are so popular they are on backorder. I love them.  The heel folds back and you can get the brace and foot in the shoe without untying the laces.  The shoes are super light too!

 

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Running on a Custom Thermoplastic Lamination AFO



Sunstone Lab art!

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Too Difficult?

My riding mower ceased to work on Friday and while I was waiting on parts to come in I contacted a local young man who home from college to see if he would mow my yard.  He said he would be happy to and asked for my address.  I gave him my address and apparently he looked my house up on Google and wrote me back that it was going to be too hard (roughly 3/4 of an acre almost all flat).

A couple things struck me as I evaluated this interaction.

  1. He jumped to the conclusion that it was too hard.
  2. No questions were asked.
  3. This could be an opportunity to make even more money.

In summary, he had something that I did not have, scarcity (time and a machine that mowed), but instead of jumping at an opportunity he simply missed it by saying it was “too hard”. Sometimes good things (money and opportunities) come from doing the hard things.

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What do a guitar maker and a prosthetist/orthotist have in common?

A desire to craft innovative custom devices.  I have recently met with Wes Lambe after wanting to buy one of his CNC routers.  We really had a good time discussing craftsmanship and we are exploring options on how to partner with digital fabrication.  Here is a little preview picture of what is to come.IMG_1244

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