Issuu on Google+

COVER STORY By JILL CULORA Elevating Orthotic Care for Seniors CLINICAL DATA CAN HELP PRACTITIONERS IMPROVE CARE AND INCREASE AWARENESS As baby boomers continue to age, it makes sense that orthotic and prosthetic practitioners could see an increase in age-related pathologies and musculoskeletal dysfunction arriving at their clinics. But this shift is not a sure bet, as a lack of knowledge at the primarycare level about orthotic services could hold back referrals. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2030, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be aged 65 and older. And while people traditionally aren’t referred for orthotic and prosthetic care simply because of their age, there are a number of ways the O&P community can work with primary care providers and physical therapists to address age-related deficits in patients. Increased awareness for prospective patients and primary care providers is crucial. “The elderly are seeing their primary care doctors, their internal doctors, their gerontologists, and I’m not sure they are necessarily aware of the all the services that orthotists and prosthetists can provide,” says Chris Robinson, CPO, FAAOP, ATC, MBA, director of orthotics education and assistant professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. “Orthotists and prosthetists have historically looked at orthopedists and rehabilitation doctors as being their primary referral sources, but with the baby boomers aging, primary care and gerontology will see considerably more conditions that are in the scope of practice for orthotists and prosthetists.” OCTOBER 2013 O&P Almanac 19

October 2013 Almanac

More from this publisher