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INNOVATION FOR INDEPENDENCE

ISSUE 82 DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012 £6.95

European debut for military inspired device By Dominic Musgrave AN EXOSKELETON that allows paraplegics to walk using technology based on military research has made its European debut. Ekso Bionics (formerly Berkeley Bionics) has been trialling the electronic suit ‘Ekso’ in the US since 2010 and now hopes to roll it out in rehabilitation centres and eventually homes in Europe, following its launch at the London International Technology Show. The current Ekso model is remotely controlled by an operator walking behind the user, but the company plans to unveil a fully independent model powered by artificial intelligence next year. The firm’s chief executive officer Eythor Bender said: “Many wheelchair users continue to live very active lives but as they research their options for increased mobility they discover that wheelchairs are the only real option. “This has been the only alternative for nearly 500 years. We want to enhance their independence and freedom of movement, and with Ekso Legs they now have the option to stand and walk for the first time since their injury.” Ekso Legs can be adjusted to fit most people between 5 ft 2 and 6 ft 2, weighing up to

220 pounds in a matter of minutes. Users must be able to self-transfer from their wheelchair. Straps secure Ekso Legs safely to the user, over their clothing and shoes. The wearable robot provides unprecedented knee flexion, which translates into the most natural human gait available in any exoskeleton today. The device is battery-powered and uses a gesture-based human-machine interface, which utilising sensors, observes the gestures the user makes to determine their intentions and then acts accordingly. A real-time then computer draws on sensors and input devices to orchestrate every aspect of a single stride. Eythor added: “The biggest challenge was developing a frame that transferred the weight completely to the ground. “After that we started applying power to it to get more strength and increasing endurance.” To date, nearly 100 people in the US have walked in the device. In the UK and Europe it will initially be used in spinal cord Injury rehabilitation centres under clinical supervision. The ultimate aim is to create a personal device that can be safely used in the home, to be worn throughout the day as early as 2013.

A 10-year-old girl who lost her legs to meningitis at the age of two wore a special pair of prosthetic ones for the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Whitehall. Lydia Cross, who has raised more than £60,000 for war veterans, had a special pair made by Bob Watts at Dorset Orthopaedic with poppies on after being invited to attend the event by the Rotary Club. For full story see page 23.


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Wounded servicemen set to compete in rowing challenge By Dominic Musgrave A TEAM of wounded servicemen are set to spend up to 70 days at sea as they compete in a rowing race across the Atlantic. The six, who have all served in the armed forces, have formed the Row2Recovery crew for the 3,000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which follows the socalled Columbus Route west-bound across the mid-Atlantic. It is made up of Corporal Neil Heritage, who now works as an athletic coach. He was in Iraq working for a Royal Signals bomb disposal team in November 2004 when he lost both legs above the knee in a suicide bomb attack. He will compete in the race without prosthetic limbs and will rely solely on his upper-body strength to help him through the race. Fellow crew member lieutenant Will Dixon, from Gloucestershire, had his left leg amputated in a field hospital after he was caught up in a blast involving an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2009. He was halfway through a six-month tour with 3 Rifles. Speaking of the trip he said: “The charities have helped me with

Contacts Editorial Judith Halkerston Group Editor editorial@assistivetechnologies.co.uk Dominic Musgrave Healthcare Editor Email: dm@whpl.net Tel: 01226 734407 Christina Eccles Reporter Email: ce@whpl.net Tel: 01226 734463

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The team practice on the Thames ahead of the challenge.

prosthetics – putting some money back their way by rowing the Atlantic is a big draw. “The boat will have to be in two pieces for us not to finish. Yes, it’s tough, but we can keep it in perspective: we are the lucky ones, who made it home. “I get seasick on a fishing lake. My mum thinks I’m nuts.” Completing the crew are Corporal Rory Mackenzie, who was blown up by a road side bomb while on a routine patrol in Basra City in January 2007. The blast traumatically

amputated his right leg. After an extensive rehabilitation period he is now back at work as an instructor at Keogh Barracks, teaching fellow medics. Lance Corporal Carl Anstey was hit by the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan, in January 2009. Surgery left him with a right leg almost two inches shorter than the left and he walks with a brace. Accompanying them on the challenge are co-founders Alex Mackenzie and Ed Janvrin. The team aim to raise up to £1m.

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The prosthetics service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals is helping two promising Yorkshire athletes achieve their ambitions. Dominic Musgrave reports.

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Sporting success for amputees THE special blades being used by both Adrian Howden and Phil Sheridan are similar to those made famous by South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius. The high-tech devices can be prescribed on the NHS for patients who have lost a limb but have a high level of mobility and fitness and enjoy competitive sports activities Adrian is a teacher from Leeds who had his right leg amputated below the knee in 2006 after suffering a severe injury in a road traffic accident the previous year. A keen sportsman before his accident, he was anxious to regain as much of his former mobility as possible after being fitted with a prosthetic limb, and particularly to pursue competitive cycling and running.

Thanks to the availability of his running blade, Adrian is now an elite paratriathlete who has competed in numerous sporting events in the UK and abroad, most recently in a duathlon (run-bike-run) at the ITU World Championships in Gijon, Spain, where he finished fifth overall. He said: “There’s quite a knack to using the blade and it isn’t right for everyone, so amputees who want to do everyday running or jogging will find a high-activity foot is often better. “Where it comes into its own is for sprinting as it is brilliant for speed because of the spring forward. Having it means I can hold my own with other top athletes in the sport.” Phil, 47, works in children’s services for Leeds city council. He had his right leg amputated below the knee after an accident in 2002 when he

narrowly escaped death after his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a 25-tonne lorry. Since then he has undergone nine operations. He is a keen martial arts practitioner and, since last year when screws and a plate were removed from his right femur, he began to run again and has been developing an interest in extreme sports and particularly trailrunning. He has recently been provided with his distance running blade by his prosthetist at Seacroft Hospital. “To get this blade through the NHS is fantastic and I feel very privileged that the hard work I have put into improving my fitness meant I met the criteria,” Phil said. “The difference it makes to my running is unbelievable and it has certainly enabled me to widen my horizons and access activities I’d never imagined would be

possible.” Steve Carter, branch manager of prosthetic provider RSL Steeper, which works in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals at the Seacroft facility added: “It’s really inspiring to work with Adrian and Phil, who are living proof that athletic ability isn’t constrained by losing a limb. “While these types of blades are highly specialised and used by top athletes, people are often surprised to hear they can be made available on the NHS, in addition to their regular prosthetic limb, based on individual clinical need. “We are really proud that patients from our centre are able to compete in top international events and it is a privilege to work with them.”

Show jumper praises staff after breaking neck AN Olympic show jumper has praised the care he received at a specialist hospital after breaking his neck. Tim Stockdale, who has represented Great Britain almost 50 times, was transferred to the world-renowned Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries after falling from his horse while riding in Mid-Wales, where he is set to remain for several weeks. The accident resulted in a double fracture of his neck, which is being treated conservatively rather than with surgery. Tim, who, having competed in the Beijing Olympics, is still hoping to be able to represent GB in London next year, said: “The hours are slow but the days are now passing more quickly. It is difficult with my family and team

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being over 100 miles away, with a business to run and 22 horses to look after. “However, I know I am in the right place and I speak with my wife and boys every day on the phone. “While the care here at Oswestry is fantastic, I am a rebel patient and I give the nursing staff a hard time, especially so, because the end of my hospital term is in sight. “We have had many messages of support and I am immensely grateful for these and that my accident was so close to such a specialist centre.” The foundation stone at the hospital was laid by celebrity fundraiser and Jim'll Fix It star Sir Jimmy Savile, who died recently.

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Tim Stockdale with his wife Laura.


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UK launch for Genium leg By Dominic Musgrave THE first in a new generation of intelligent, microprocessor-controlled leg prostheses has been launched in the UK. Makers Otto Bock say the Genium delivers far greater precision and response, enabling a wider range of movements for the user. A key technological advancement of the device includes its Intuitive Stance Function that differentiates between when a user is standing still and walking. This enables the user to achieve natural weight distribution and stand on flat, uneven or inclined surfaces. Further advances also mean Genium users will be able to ascend stairs more naturally through step-over-step movement plus the ability to overcome obstacles more smoothly by stepping over them. Ten modes for special movement patterns such as sporting activities are also included, together with programming capabilities via an integrated Bluetooth interface. Managing director Philip Yates said: “In developing new prosthetic systems, Otto Bock strives to reduce the differences

between the body’s natural abilities and artificial replacements. “The Genium represents our latest work decoding the complexity of human gait in ever greater detail and incorporating our insights into a functional, stable, everyday prosthetic system that will redefine quality of life and everyday mobility for amputees.”

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A further key technological advancement in Genium is the Optimised Physiological Gait. In addition to alleviating strain on the entire locomotion system of the user, which prevents subsequent orthopaedic problems, OPG also allows for a gait that is close to a natural physiological one. The device has been developed with battery technology in mind, allowing users a run time of up to five days. This convenience is further enhanced with the device’s inductive charging functionality, which removes the requirement for open charging ports. Genium also allows for computer aided alignment through X-Soft adjustment software, which calculates and visualises the forces acting on the prosthesis, offering recommendations for the custom positioning of its components.

Patient Matthew Newbury is the first person to use the Genium.

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Recovery acceleration project wins top award By Christina Eccles

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A PROJECT that accelerates the recovery of orthopaedic patients at Colchester General Hospital has won a prestigious national award.

Matt Hampson officially opened Naidex South before signing copies of his new autobiography ‘Engage’. ‘Engage’ tells former England under 21 ruby player Matt’s story before and after his life changing training pitch accident in 2005, which left him paralysed from the neck down and unable to breathe without the aid of a ventilator. Following this freak accident, he spent more than 17 months recovering in Stoke Mandeville Hospital and has rebuilt his life, which includes writing for Rugby World magazine, coaching at Oakham school and helping raise awareness of his charity the Matt Hampson Foundation.

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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

per cent before the pilot began. Following the pilot's success, CORP has now been expanded to all orthopaedic patients at Colchester General Hospital.

The initiative involves physiotherapy and nursing staff and has won the secondary care category of the annual Health Service Journal and Capgemini Liberating Ideas Awards.

Archie Kaul-Mead, head of physiotherapy, said: “CORP classifies all orthopaedic patients as red, amber and green and we then provide the appropriate level of rehabilitation.

The awards celebrate the best local innovations that improve services and the patient experience, and which can be adopted by NHS trusts across the country.

“Wherever possible, the focus is on independence with washing and dressing, working on strength and co-ordination, cognitive stimulation and mobility.

Staff in Colchester have developed an intensive rehabilitation programme called the Colchester Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Protocol, which began in January this year as a three-month pilot for patients who had suffered a broken hip.

“There is a daily exercise class and each patient is regularly reviewed to check on the progress they are making.

It reduced the average length of time these patients spent in hospital from 17 days to 11.5, which is about half the national average length of stay of 22 days. It also resulted in 78 per cent of patients being discharged directly home as opposed to residential or nursing homes, compared with 42

“CORP helps patients to regain mobility, independence and confidence more quickly than ever before, and a shorter stay in hospital reduces complications such as pressure sores, hospital-acquired infections and falls.” With nursing and therapy staff helping where necessary, patients are also encouraged to eat their meals together so they can support one another with their rehabilitation.


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Football legend opens new £6m research centre

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By Dominic Musgrave

Derfel Parry

Rally raises money for hospice A 21-YEAR-OLD from Gwynedd with a spinal cord injury has taken part in a fundraising drive by classic car lovers.

before 1981, for an annual trip through north Wales to raise money for a chosen charity.

Derfel Parry, who is a service user of Telford-based care specialists the Complete Group, recently participated in the Snowdonia Ford Tour 2011.

The charity supported by this year’s event was Hope House Children’s Hospices, which runs two hospices, one in Oswestry, Shropshire and the other in Conwy, Wales.

The event brings together the owners of classic Fords, mainly dating from

So far the Tour has raised more than £3,200 for the hospice.

Users becoming proud to display prosthesis

Jamie Gillespie, PACE prosthetist, says a wider range of amputees are opting for a more contemporary design, which historically had been favoured by younger, more active, prosthetic users.

The Carbon Stride fairing, devised and produced by an above the knee prosthetic user, provides an alternative solution to traditional colourful sockets and carbon fibre finishes,which do not lend themselves to allow clothing to hang naturally over them. When exposed, the prosthesis has its 8

They also say that the exploratory research has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of osteoarthritis, which causes pain and disability to eight million people in the UK. Treatments for early osteoarthritis are usually limited to non-surgical options such as pain killers and physiotherapy. Patients currently undergo joint replacement operations but only when the disease has deteriorated to a severe end stage.

“Keyhole and minimally invasive operations for early arthritis have been in development for some years and we propose to improve upon these techniques and work towards more widely available treatments. This requires research at all levels of the process, from laboratory to bedside. “We hope that elements of this approach will reach the patient in the operating theatre within the first five years.” Within five years researchers aim to treat early osteoarthritis by introducing adult stem cells and other types of cell into damaged joints and repairing damage through less invasive operations such as keyhole surgery. If this proves successful, they hope to perform this as a ‘one stop’ day case procedure, which may delay the need for joint replacement. Other long term aims include finding a way to ‘switch on’ stem cells already present in patient’s joints. Researchers also hope to develop an ‘off the peg’ bank of universal donor cells for use with any patient, making treatment cheaper and more widely available.

New sports medicine clinic opens at hospital

He added: “Within our clinics, we are being more frequently asked to provide colourful socket designs for children, uncovered designs for females, or carbon fibre finished prostheses for some more senior amputees.

“In return, we are being challenged to improve the visual design of these limbs to meet the expectations of our clients.”

Researchers at the centre aim to regenerate bone and cartilage by using patients’ own stem cells which they claim has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of osteoarthritis, repairing damage to joints caused by the disease.

Professor Andrew McCaskie, centre director and professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University’s Institute of Cellular Medicine, and the Freeman Hospital, part of The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “Every patient has their own ‘repair kit.’ Whereas joint replacement surgery uses metal and plastic to

AN increasing number of lower limb prosthetic users are more comfortable with, and in some ways proud to show off, their exposed prosthesis, in preference to a conventional cosmetic cover, it has been claimed.

“We are fortunate to have access to materials, knowledge, experience and the attention to detail required in order to produce highly functional and comfortable prostheses for our clients.

FORMER Newcastle United and England footballer Alan Shearer opened a new £6m tissue engineering centre for Arthritis Research UK and Newcastle University.

replace the severely damaged joint, we’re trying to treat at an earlier stage and assist the human body to repair itself.

Patient Daniel Hughes with his new prosthetic limb.

own unique appearance and, when covered, trousers hang more naturally, allowing users to blend more easily within certain social situations. Jamie added: “As the function and expectations of our limb wearers increases, largely thanks to increased media coverage of amputees and information shared online, we have found our designs evolving to meet the high standards expected of us.”

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

A NEW sports medicine clinic is up and running at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with everyone from joggers to elite athletes being treated.

He added: “The plan is to open the clinic to all NHS patients, as well as university students, the military and elite/professional sports people.

The new service is provided by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust following government campaigns aimed at encouraging more people to get active.

“We will also develop an ongoing connection with UK Athletics, who are based in the Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr.

It is the brainchild of the Trust’s professor of clinical traumatology, Sir Keith Porter, and head of therapy services, Yvonne Pettigrew. The first informal clinic was attended by junior British fencer Laura Hunter-Thomas. Dr Leon Creaney, consultant in sport and exercise medicine at the hospital, said the new clinic would be open to any level of sport.

“Patients can be referred by GPs and physiotherapists, but we are also probably going to get referrals from A&E and from fracture clinics. “What is behind this is that the Trust has realised there is an unmet need in this area. The Government is trying to get a million people more active, but the flipside is that more people will get injuries.”


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Suit created to help firm’s staff understand challenges By Dominic Musgrave

impacts to daily living might be.

STANNAH Stairlifts has utilised the expertise of Loughborough University academics to help its staff better understand the challenges faced by its customers.

“In this way, empathy with suffers is generated amongst designers, sales teams and staff trainers, thereby guiding improvements to future product and service design.

The manufacturer is using a state-ofthe-art osteoarthritis simulation suit – developed by University ergonomists – to enable its engineers and sales staff to gain a personal insight into what it is like to suffer from the condition.

“Since the number of over 85s in the UK is projected to more than double by 2035, it can be assumed that the prevalence of arthritis will also increase.

Experts from the Loughborough Design School SKInS (Sensory and Kinaesthetic Interactive Simulations) Programme have been researching wearable simulations of given health conditions for more than 15 years.

“Therefore all organisations – from supermarkets to air carriers – will need to radically consider how they can accommodate this growing market segment and wearable simulations are a powerful mechanism for facilitating this change in approach.”

The Loughborough team also collaborated with clinicians at the University Hospitals of Leicester to deepen their knowledge of osteoarthritis, which affects about eight million people in the UK.

Two years ago, Stannah commissioned the inventor of the osteoarthritis suit, Sharon as a consultant to help its research and development experts use the suit to improve product design.

Sharon Cook, manager of the SKInS Programme, said: “The aim of our wearable simulations is to enable those without a health condition, such as osteoarthritis, to obtain some insight into how it feels and what its

The firm has bought its own suit to use in global training and induction sessions to help its staff understand more about the difficulties encountered by a large number of its clients.

Pioneering operation for teenager PART of a teenager’s leg has been treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham as part of a pioneering operation. Matthew Willey had a 12-inch piece of his shin bone removed at the city’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital after the 15-year-old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

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It was then taken by the surgeon to Queen Elizabeth three miles away where the tibia was irradiated to tackle the cancer. The bone was then put back into his leg while Matthew was still on the operating table, and a metal frame inserted to hold the damaged limb together.

Stannah Stairlifts has worked with Loughborough University academics to create a state-of-the-art osteoarthritis simulation suit.

After ten days in hospital in Birmingham, Matthew returned home to Yorkshire and restarted chemotherapy at Leeds General Infirmary. He is due to finish at Christmas but will carry on being treated with a new bone cancer drug, which is said to significantly boost survival rates.

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£15m pledge to improve prosthetic services By Dominic Musgrave PLANS to invest up to £15m to improve prosthetics services for military veterans who have lost a limb due to activities while serving their country have been revealed by the Government. In January, the Government asked Dr Andrew Murrison MP to lead a review into the prosthetic services currently offered to veterans by the NHS. This followed concern by service charities and some serving personnel who have been seriously injured that the NHS may not be equipped to provide prosthetic services to the same standard as the Defence Medical Service at Headley Court. In response to Dr Murrison’s key recommendation, the Department of Health will introduce a number of national specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation centres for amputee veterans across the country. Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Those who have served their country deserve the best

possible care from the NHS and we are committed to giving these brave men and women the facilities they need to improve their health outcomes.

Tanni opens new university facility PARALYMPIC athlete Tanni GreyThompson officially cut the tape on a building housing the University of Bradford’s School of Health Studies.

“We will use the opportunity provided by Dr Murrison’s report to extend the modern, high quality treatment currently provided by Headley Court not only to veterans but also to NHS patients, for whom it is clinically appropriate.”

Staff and students have relocated to the new £10m building at the gateway to the main campus, which provides two physiotherapy clinics.

The Government will work with service charities, including Help for Heroes and BLESMA, as well as specialists within the NHS, to ensure that high quality NHS facilities are available to our military heroes.

“As the health needs of the population become more complex, it’s vital that physio students are able to learn with the most up-to-date equipment.’

The Department of Health will also use the experience and feedback from providing these specialist services to veterans and apply these to the wider NHS, so that all patients will benefit in the future. Minister for defence personnel, welfare and veterans, Andrew Robathan, said: “The report offers the right solution for our people as they transition into civilian

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Baroness Tanni said: “The success of the school is that it has been made an amazing place to teach the next generation of physios and nurses.

A fee-paying clinic provides physiotherapy for the 10,000 students and staff along with the general public, while an add-on of the new facility is to provide a twiceweekly free drop-in clinic for students. Clinical lead physiotherapist Kate Butterfield: “This a fantastic perk for the students who can be treated for free straight away in an acute setting and we hope to build it up as a viable clinic.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

“This is a really good way to introduce physio students to things before they go out on placement, to consolidate their knowledge and practice their clinical skills. With all the latest equipment it is a fantastic place to study and will hopefully put Bradford on the map.”

Advertiser’s announcement

Nimco Made4You The Nimco shoe factory was founded in 1904 and acquired by the Krol family in 1968 who have developed Nimco into one of the most important custom made shoe manufacturers in the world. In 1973 Nimco started to manufacture children’s therapeutic shoes which are now Nimco’s core business products and in 1990 developed and patented stretch leather technology. This was a major breakthrough in shoe business, especially for diabetic footwear. In 2007 Personal Pair was created offering a line of

personalized, fitted and designed shoes for adults and children.

most attractive designs.

These collections are a breakthrough in the shoe market because it started the era of total personalization and involvement of the person in creation of their custom made shoes.

Respecting nature by using materials that are as less polluting and harmful as possible and ensuring that our packages are made from recycled materials is a very important part of our respect for the environment.

Nimco Made4 You believes in high quality and so it guarantees their good performance and durability.

Quality and uniformity are fundamental to our performance.

The team of Nimco Made4You consists of experienced footwear technicians and innovative shoe designers involved to help create the best and

Everything we make is produced according to EU Guideline 93/42 for Medical Aids, and bears the CE label.

Nimco Made4You mission statement To manufacture and market shoes and other orthopaedic solutions so that care for foot health, comfort, and perfect fitting are a means of improving mobility and therefore life quality. “Great shoes for everyone”, because everyone deserves great shoes.

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An American man has reached up and touched hands with his girlfriend, seven years after a motorcycle accident damaged his spinal cord and left him paralysed. Dominic Musgrave reports.

Trial tests whether thought can control external device TIM Hemmes, 30, is the first person to participate in a new trial assessing whether the thoughts of a person with a spinal cord injury can be used to control the movement of an external device, such as a computer cursor or a sophisticated prosthetic arm. The project, one of two brain-computer interface studies underway at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, used a grid of electrodes placed on the surface of the brain to control the arm. It was a unique robotic arm and hand, designed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, that Tim willed to extend, first towards the palm of a researcher on the team, and a few minutes later to his girlfriend’s hand. Michael Boninger, director of the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, said: “Seeing Tim reach out with a mechanical arm to touch his girlfriend was an unexpected and poignant bonus for all of us who are involved with this exciting project. “This first round of testing reinforces the great potential BCI technology holds for not only helping spinal cord-injured patients become more independent, but also enhancing their physical and emotional connections with their friends and family. “It further motivates us to make this technology useful and available to those who need it.” An electrocortigraphy grid about the size of a large postage stamp, adapted from seizure-mapping brain electrode arrays, was placed on the surface of Tim’s brain during a two-hour operation performed by co-investigator and neurosurgeon Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, assistant professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, Pitt School of Medicine. She added: “Before the procedure, we conducted several functional imaging tests to determine where his brain processed signals for moving his right arm. “We removed a small piece of his skull and opened the thick layer of protective dura mater beneath it to place the grid over that area of motor cortex. We then put the dura and skull back with the

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Tim Hemmes reaches out to his girlfriend Katie Schaffer using a brain-controlled prosthetic arm. Also pictured is research team member Jennifer L. Collinger. Picture credit: UPMC.

wires on the outside of the skull but under the scalp.”

middle of a large television screen either up, down, left or right to a target, within a time limit.

The connecting wires tunneled under the neck skin to exit from the upper chest, where they could be periodically hooked up to computer cables. Six days per week for the next four weeks at home and on campus, Tim and the team tested the technology. The researchers used computer software they developed in earlier studies to interpret the neural signals sensed by the brain grid.

With practice, he could do this two-dimensional task without any computer assistance. He then performed a similar task with the arm, reaching out to touch a target on a large, desk-mounted panel.

After watching a computer-generated figure move an arm, Tim began trying to guide a ball from the

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Researchers are now analysing the data, and are seeking at least five more adults with spinal cord injuries or brainstem strokes who have very little or no use of their hands and arms for additional studies.


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Instrument first for Colin NEWS

By Dominic Musgrave A FITNESS fanatic grandad has had the first operation of its kind in Europe to rid him of pain so severe that he has not had a night's sleep in more than five months. 65-year-old Colin Chiltern from Staffordshire had a total hip replacement at the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby using a new instrument that surgeons believe could revolutionise how they perform one of the most common type of operations in the NHS. During hip surgery the damaged and worn parts of the original joint are removed before a new artificial hip is put in. In the majority of cases there are no problems and the new artificial hip socket goes in the right place. The precise placement of the socket, however, relies on the surgeon's judgement during the operation. If the surgeon does not judge this position perfectly, then the socket might not be placed correctly, leaving the patient at a much higher risk of complications in the future. Orthopaedic surgeon Richard King

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has been working with the Swiss orthopaedic company, Symbios, and they have devised a new technique that accurately helps position the artificial socket potentially avoiding those complications which often require further surgery. He said: “We are thrilled that the device has the potential of making hip replacement surgery even more successful in transforming people's lives. “Colin has been in an incredible amount of pain and as a surgeon to be able to help to relieve that is fantastic, and to have played a part in inventing the device is an added extra. “Over 50,000 total hip replacements are carried out in Britain each year and the difference it makes to the quality of people's lives is amazing.” Custom made for each patient, CT scans are used to pin-point the correct position and orientation of the artificial hip socket. This information is then used to custom make a guide that fits the patient perfectly so as to ensure the new socket is inserted in an ideal

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

Colin Chiltern with orthopaedic surgeon Richard King. orientation. Previously, the super-fit grandad of two played rugby and had run 13 marathons, but six months ago he began to get crippling with pain in his groin and thighs and was forced

to give up golf after he collapsed on the course. He had not been able to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time and was unable to walk more than 10 metres all because of the pain.


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Hospital turns to console to accelerate recovery By Christina Eccles PATIENTS on the Critical Care Unit at Colchester General Hospital are playing Nintendo Wii games as part of a physiotherapy project to accelerate their recovery.

Man has phone set into limb

Until recently, patients who have been on ventilators or haemodialsysis machines have traditionally been bedbound and have taken part in only limited rehabilitation.

SPECIALISTS at the Royal Devon and Exeter’s Exeter Mobility Centre have designed and made a prosthetic arm which for the first time has a smartphone set into the limb.

Now, however, patients on ventilators with some awareness and those who can breathe unaided are being offered early stage rehabilitation as it is best practice to start it as soon as possible.

Trevor Prideaux, who was born without his left arm, now has a forearm prosthesis with his mobile phone set into it.

The six-month pilot study which started last month is being led by Dr Helen Agostini, consultant anaesthetist, and Jennifer Powner, specialist physiotherapist in respiratory care. It involves a multidisciplinary team approach by physiotherapists, nursing staff and doctors and has been launched following some early successes, which have included critical care patients playing on a Wii game console as part of their rehabilitation. Jennifer said: “There is now a considerable amount of evidence to show that the earlier rehabilitation begins, the sooner a patient’s recovery starts and the sooner they can leave Critical Care. “We have always provided physiotherapy to patients who are unconscious on a ventilator, such as to clear phlegm from their chests and to maintain their joints. “However, we are now working with all patients on the unit, who are on ventilators but well enough to sit in a chair. Using a Wii can help this group of patients.

NEWS

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Opcare clinical lead prosthetist Dave House said: “Trevor asked us at Exeter Mobility Centre in the summer what was possible.

Barry Sheppard plays tennis on a Wii game console in the Critical Care Unit while Jennifer Powner looks on.

“It is a fun way to introduce and engage patients who are very poorly and anxious about their recovery to the idea of exercise.” She added that the Wii is just one part of a wider range and variety of rehabilitation techniques that are used to help patients on the Critical Care Unit. Others include working with weights, cycling, and squeezing therapy and tactile balls to improve their grip and sense of feel respectively, as well as to reduce swollen hands.

“We started by taking an impression of the mobile phone so that we had an exact shape to work with. “When we developed the design we had to take into account a number of factors including the phone was secure but easy to remove with one hand; the function of the forearm prosthesis was not compromised and ensuring that we could manufacture it again if the phone was replaced and was a different design or size.”

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Oscar stars at sports conference By Dominic Musgrave

NEWS

INTERNATIONAL track star Oscar Pistorius was the guest speaker at Strathclyde University’s sporting prosthetics conference. The South African, who made history earlier this year by becoming the first Paralympic athlete to win a medal at the IAAF able-bodied World Championships, joined a number of high profile speakers at the conference held at Hampden Park, hosted and organised by the University’s National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics. The Centre is an international leader in prosthetic and orthotic education, and the conference provided a forum for inspirational and motivational speakers to encourage people to become more active and participate in exercise and sport. Oscar’s appearance in Scotland comes ahead of his attempt to create another piece of history by qualifying for the 400m team for the 2012 Olympics. He said: “Sport can inspire us all and the more we can do to promote how anyone with any

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ability can become active will encourage current and future generations. “I am excited about the possibility of coming back to Glasgow and competing here in 2014 at the Commonwealth Games.” Paralympics GB and Scottish Disability Sport were also represented at the conference, which explored the latest developments in research, technology and design. Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University, said: “It was a real honour for the University of Strathclyde to welcome Oscar Pistorius to Scotland, and his visit is evidence of the reputation that the National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics holds throughout the world. “Oscar’s success at the Paralympics and his recent achievements at the World Championships have revolutionised athletics, and he continues to inspire the next generation of athletes and prosthetics and orthotics professionals alike. “There is a great deal of interest in Glasgow as the countdown

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

Oscar Pistorious with British paracyclist Colin Lynch, who also spoke at the conference. Credit: University of Strathclyde.

continues to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the University is delighted to play its part in promoting the fantastic work being done to encourage participation in sport and physical activity for everyone.” The National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics promotes excellence in education and enables

rehabilitation professionals to learn and develop enhanced methods of practice in the field. The conference brought together professionals, educators, researchers and strategic partners to help shape the future direction of sporting prosthetics and innovation.


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Beagle finds its niche NEWS

BEAGLE Orthopeadic Custom Fabrication has high expectations for 2012 following a year of great success. We believe we are different in our capabilities that we offer; we work closely with a number of hospitals to provide custom products that are specific to the needs of the differing patients that you deal with. As we are all aware through readily available information, patients are becoming increasingly conscious of what they need to allow them to live a normal life. We can provide the knowledge and support to clinicians to allow this to become a regular offering. We feel we have realised our niche within this market and are utlising our own strengths to provide a service to our customers, which is second to none. Maintaining a five-day turnaround we now manufacture a number of products that aren’t necessarily for your everyday patients, but have been a blessing to some clinicians who have benefited from our ability to deliver custom CTLSO’s within 18 hours from receipt of order, scoliosis braces within three days and specialist technical help with a variety of different orthoses such as brachial plexus splints, CCD’s, Lerman style braces etc.

Firm moves to new premises DM ORTHOTICS has opened a new facility in Redruth to confirm the continued growth of the company over the last few years. The site houses the world administration, research and development, training room and production of the renowned Dynamic Movement Orthoses. The success of the DMO range has enabled the company to invest heavily in research and development, culminating in new products, patents and markets all backed up by clinical evidence. The DMO range continues to grow in options ranging from dorsiflex socks (providing a dynamic orthosis to provide another option for children with hemiplegia who find the rigid AFOs difficult to tolerate) to scoliosis suits (used to prevent and/reduce curves in children with neurologically originating scoliosis). DM Orthotics has also branched out via DM Active Sport into the elite sports market, using designs to manage groin injury using Rehabilitation Enhancing Performance Shorts. In the last couple of months the firm has also increased its workforce by 20 per cent to more than 40 staff. 18

Associations join forces to raise awareness of physios By Dominic Musgrave

every second counts, and it is the training and qualifications I have that enabled me to make the right decisions. My wish is that every player who needs treatment has a qualified and appropriately trained person there for them.”

SPORTS injuries should be treated by qualified physios, the Health Professions Council and the Football Association has warned. The two have launched a joint campaign to raise awareness of the role of ‘physiotherapists’ and warn people against seeking advice from unregulated individuals.

With the 2012 Olympic Games around the corner there will be an emphasis on keeping fit and an increased number of individuals becoming involved in physical activity.

Recent research has shown that one in three people have picked up a sporting injury in the past five years and 44 per cent of the nation has sustained a non-sporting injury at some stage in their lives. Furthermore, one in five treated the injury themselves, with just 14 per cent seeking help from a registered physiotherapist. The research also revealed that millions of people are harbouring an old injury which was not treated by a professional and is having a negative impact on their lives. Gary Lewin, head of physiotherapy services to the FA and physiotherapist to the England senior men’s team, said: “I have seen at first hand the importance of the right advice, the

The HPC and FA are urging people to seek professional help when needed and to make sure the physiotherapist they talk to is HPC-registered. More than half of patients did not check this when seeking help according to the research.

John Terry

right care and how that can make a massive difference not just to sporting careers but to long term health and wellbeing. “It's vital that when immediate medical help is needed in sport, that the person making those decisions has had the right training and is qualified to properly treat individuals. “I've been in situations with players like Eduardo and John Terry where

Dr Helena Johnson, chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Council, added: “Relatively minor injuries can become long-term problems if left untreated so it is very important that people see a registered chartered physiotherapist as early as possible. “A GP can refer you for treatment on the NHS and in some areas you can even refer yourself for an initial assessment.”

Spire becomes official partner of national football centre SPIRE has become the official healthcare partner of St. George’s Park, the Football Association’s new national football centre. Under its new brand Perform, the firm will provide a sports medicine, treatment and performance centre,

with an emphasis on sports science and human performance. The partnership will create the first totally integrated sports medicine centre, supported by an advanced research programme, that is open to sport and the general public.

Physio service initiative a success THE man behind a physiotherapy service for members of staff at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has said that the initiative has proved ‘really worthwhile’. The service, which is being run in conjunction with the trust’s occupational health department, was launched for a year trial period on May 1. It is designed to offer staff members easy access to assessment and treatment and includes a weekly drop-in clinic. Clinical specialist physiotherapist Jonathan Sheppard devised and runs the service.

Jonathan Sheppard treats a patient.

He said: “It is not that common to have a physio working as part of the occupational health team, but so far this has proved really worthwhile.

from all areas of the organisation and the feedback I’ve received has been extremely positive.”

“One positive is the ability to link in with other services provided by occupational health to help people return to work more quickly.

As well as offering a benefit to employees, the service is also aimed at helping to reduce staff sickness levels.

“I have seen a wide variety of staff

And, according to trust figures, there

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

has been a 32 per cent reduction in full days lost due to musculoskeletal disorders since the service was launched. In addition, 57 per cent of staff taking advantage of the service have been able to stay working rather than taking sick leave.


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2012 EVENTS

Key dates for your diary March 5-7 Podiatry Managers Conference (Telford Park Inn) 10 BAPO educational day and AGM (UCL Institute of Child Health, London) 29 Kidz in the Middle (Ricoh Arena, Coventry) May 1-3 Naidex National (Birmingham NEC) 15-18 Orthopadie and Reha-technik (Leipzig, Germany) June 12-14 College of Occupational Therapists Conference (SECC Glasgow) 14 Kidz Down South (Rivermead Leisure Complex, Reading) 21-23 Mobility Roadshow ( East of England Showground, Peterborough) August 29-September 9 Paralympic Games (London) October 11-13 Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Annual Conference (SECC Glasgow) 17 and 18 Naidex South (ExCel, London) November 29 Kidz Up North (Reebok Stadium, Bolton).

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A crowded seminar at one of this year’s Naidex events.

Organisers look ahead to 2012 shows WITH the madness of this year’s three shows now behind them, all events having enjoyed resounding success and excellent feedback, the Naidex organisers are now looking to 2012. Naidex National is set to take place between May 1 and 3 at the Birmingham NEC, with Naidex South following on October 17 and 18, which will again be held at London ExCeL. Registration for free tickets will go live in the next few months but, until then, more information on both shows can be found at www.naidex.co.uk Event director of the three Naidex shows Liz Virgo said: “2011 has been a fantastic year for Naidex and a jam packed one too as it was the first time that all three events took place in one year. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped make the shows so successful and look

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

forward to developing the shows for next year to make them bigger and better than ever before.” Visitors to next year’s events can expect to see all of the Naidex favourites that make visiting so worthwhile, such as the Car Zone, KideQuip and Meet the OT, not forgetting the thousands of products on display to promote independent living. You can also count on the Naidex team to bring you exciting new features and zones which ensure the shows are kept fresh and interesting and provide something for everyone. There will also be a wealth of free help and advice available on a wide range of topics and issues, so start preparing your questions for the experts now. Healthcare professionals can also benefit from visiting one of the shows with free CPD accreditation from the Naidex conferences.


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sponsors kids

Lydia’s legs have poppy appeal By Dominic Musgrave A 10-YEAR-OLD wore a special pair of prosthetic legs to take part in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Whitehall.

KIDS

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After losing her legs at the age of two to meningitis, Lydia Cross has notched up a huge number of achievements. And, having already raised over £60,000 for war veterans, she was invited by the Rotary Club to take part in the annual event. Her parents contacted Dorset Orthopaedic to ask if they could make her a special pair of prosthetic legs. Bob Watts, prosthetist and managing director, said her challenge came at a perfect time for the company. He added: “We have supported Lydia for several years now, and it was no surprise to learn that she wanted something different to commemorate the event. “We had been working on developing a new range of silicone cosmeses called myDesign. The idea was to allow clients to effectively ‘design their own legs’ using their imagination. “The idea has gained a lot of interest. We are seeing a growing trend from amputees who want to show off their prosthetics in a creative way.” Lydia wanted her prosthetic legs to show-off poppies - the flower used to symbolise lives lost in both wars. She and her policeman dad and former commando Tony met with Bob and one of the lead-artists at Dorset Orthopaedic, Di Pidgely.

Lydia’s legs being put together in the Dorset Orthopaedic workshop.

The next challenge was to translate the design into the prosthetic leg. Di said: “It takes considerable artistic skill combined with know-how of working with silicone pigmentation to produce the design.

Taking Lydia’s sketches, Di developed the concept into a final design.

“We pay a lot of detail to re-creating a threedimensional effect so that the design literally does stand out. We were very proud of the finished result.”

This showed poppies growing from grass and reaching the sky - a theme Lydia thoroughly approved of.

Lydia and Tony attended the ceremony with the world’s media watching. Her mum, Jodie, who stayed at home, watched the event on television

with pride. She said during the event Prince Charles noticed Lydia and asked one of his aides to find out who she was. Dorset Orthopaedic has now launched the myDesign theme on their website. Bob added: “We have perfected the ability to translate an artistic idea into reality. “We want to help other amputees express their individuality. The myDesign concept is absolutely unique and with a brief sketch, we can custom design practically any idea.”

Games device is a perfect Christmas present Timocco could be the perfect Christmas gift for a child with special needs this year. The unique product that assists with cognitive and motor development of children has been created for a wide range of abilities and ages, and is now available in the UK through OM Interactive. The Home Edition of Timocco provides interactive games based on body motion tracking technology, and gives parents a fantastic opportunity to enhance parent and child interaction in a safe, friendly and fun environment. Mishka Klotz, director of OM Interactive, said: “The developers of Timocco have a philosophy that all therapy should be fun, and seeing the smile on the child’s face, along

with that of their parents, brothers and sisters is incredibly rewarding.” The non-competitive games are played using body movements which are tracked by Timocco’s unique software and hand held body tracking controllers. To ensure children maintain their interest in the device, the games are set in different colourful environments such as the sky, the beach and the garden, and feature numerous activities including popping bubbles and catching falling fruit. Each game has been carefully designed to ensure every activity helps develop the child’s motor and cognitive skills, while at the same time allowing them to have fun. For example, playing with both

Timocco assists with cognitive and motor development of children.

hands up in the air will strengthen a child’s shoulders and arms, while popping bubbles encourages them to use both hands in the correct sequence together, therefore improving coordination.

As a child develops and their ability evolves the supervision and analysis software allows the user to adapt the games to meet any specific physical or mental requirements which he/she feel need additional support.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

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PODIATRY

sponsors podiatry

Scans can confirm gout, American study finds RESEARCHERS have found that CT scans can help to confirm gout in patients suspected of having the condition after receiving negative results from traditional tests. The type of CT scan analysed could also really help patients who cannot be tested with the typical method of taking fluid from joints, according to the study which was presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual scientific meeting in Chicago. Physicians usually check for gout by using a needle to draw fluid from affected joints, and examining the fluid for uric acid crystals. Dual-energy CT scans have recently been modified to detect the crystals, and the study found they were "very accurate" in identifying patients with gout. Lead researcher Tim Bongartz said that while highly accurate overall, in

a subgroup of patients with very acute gout, the CT scan failed to identify 30 per cent of cases. He added: “By grouping our study participants according to symptom duration and location of the affected joint, we wanted to make sure that our study population represented a real-world spectrum of disease. “We didn’t want to make it too easy for the scan to pick up the correct diagnosis by only including patients with long standing, tophaceous disease and large uric acid deposits. “We wanted to really challenge the new method by including patients who were only a few days into their first flare of gout.” He noted that the technology would be most useful when joint fluid cannot be obtained or the fluid analysis comes back negative despite gout being strongly suspected.

Salford forum will have a focus on sports podiatry DELCAM will host a second Orthotics Technology Forum at Salford University next year.

manufacture, as well as new ideas for increasing productivity and reducing manufacturing costs.

The event on July 12 and 13 follows on from the success of the initial one in Bath earlier this year, and will again cover new technologies and processes designed to assist practitioners and laboratories in prescribing, designing and manufacturing custom orthotic insoles.

The programme is set to be as varied and educational as this year’s event, showing the latest technology that is currently being used in the design and manufacture of orthotic insoles as well as what may be on the horizon.

With the Olympic Games due to be held in the UK in 2012, the Forum will also include a strong focus on sports podiatry. Delcam is currently contacting international speakers that are leading the way in developing and using different types of technology, including hardware devices to help measure biomechanical features, pressure and anatomical form, and CADCAM tools for plasterless

The aim is to provide another opportunity for delegates to see a wide variety of innovative technologies from a combination of diverse organisations. As part of the focus on sport, the Forum Dinner will be held at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium. There will also be the opportunity for delegates and speakers to network during the evening to share their experiences with colleagues from around the world.

Have you got a story for the kids’, podiatry or sports rehab sections of Assistive Technologies? Let Dominic Musgrave know by ringing 01226 734407 or email dm@whpl.net 24

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

Neil Reeves with a patient in the laboratory.

University seeks volunteers for mobility trial By Dominic Musgrave A NORTH West university is appealing for volunteers who have diabetes to take part in a mobility study. Dr Neil Reeves and a team from the Institute for Human Movement at Manchester Metropolitan University is trying to find out why people with the condition are more likely to suffer falls than other people their age, resulting in injuries and impacting upon their quality of life. With a 222,000 Euro grant from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes, the team of physiologists are investigating neuromuscular factors that make everyday tasks hazardous for people with types 1 and 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The project will see the team use experimental techniques including the use of a ten-camera motion analysis system and the assessment of muscle activity to characterise how people with diabetes walk and negotiate stairs. Neil said: “There may be a number of factors that contribute to why these patients are much more likely to fall and we aim to investigate these –

such as peripheral neuropathy - lack of sensation in the feet - and muscular weakness. “The intervention we plan is primarily exercise-based, aimed at reducing gait instability and improving balance, leading to reduced likelihood of falls and therefore improved safety during everyday gait tasks.” The project will be run in collaboration with the Manchester Diabetes Centre and forms part of a larger body of work investigating gait in people with diabetes, for which Dr Reeves has recently gained funding from the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. It is hoped that the work will provide effective interventions for improving the safety of tasks and contribute to enhancing quality of life for people with diabetes. The University is now recruiting participants for our study, helping us to gain some expose of the project to the general public. Joe Handsaker, a PhD researcher on the project, said: “Basically, we are looking for people with diabetes of both types to participate in a study examining their walking and stair negotiation characteristics.”


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sponsors sports rehab

Rugby team put through its paces By Dominic Musgrave RUGBY league team Wigan Warriors are already preparing for the forthcoming season with help from the University of Central Lancashire. The first team players are back in training and were put through their paces by staff and students from the University’s Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Science. The CASES team spent the day in the University’s laboratories testing the Warriors players against a range of physiological and biomechanical checks as part of the club’s preseason fitness tests. Newly appointed head coach Shaun Wane was on hand to watch the players’ assessments. He said: “The University has performed a range of tests that will inform our coaching staff of the players’ physical condition.

“Scientific testing like this allows us to design individual training programs tailored for each player, which can give us an edge going into the new season. “I am really impressed not only with the University’s top quality facilities, but also with the professionalism and expertise of all the staff and students that Wigan Warriors have worked with.” The test day enabled the sports science students to gain practitioner experience with high-level athletes and to gain insight into the practical developments of elite sports players. Several UCLan students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, have also worked with the Super League club alongside their studies. Martin Whewell, a final year BSc(Hons) Sport and Exercise Physiology student, is the head of strength and conditioning for the under 18’s squad, while MSc Sport

SPORTS REHABILITATION

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Wigan Warriors' Chris Tuson takes part in fitness tests with lecturer in sport and exercise physiology Dr Howard Hurst and MSc sport and exercise physiology student Daria Przybyla.

and Exercise Physiology student Emily Williams is on a year-long internship at the club working with the Under 15s and 16s on strength and conditioning. The fitness tests are part of an ongoing sponsorship deal that the University has as the

‘official university’ of the club, which sees the Warriors also benefit with video analysis support and a number of University degree places for its accelerate squad players and staff.

London calling for university physio Penny A NORTH East physiotherapist is heading to London in 2012 to do her bit to help Team GB go for gold. Penny Macutkiewicz, who is based at The Performance Clinic at the University of Sunderland, has been chosen as a physiotherapist for Team GB at the Paralympics. Penny, who will be headquarters physiotherapist at the Paralympics camp and games, has worked with leading sportspeople since 2002 – including Olympic swimmers Joanne Jackson and Chris Cook, Sunderland Olympian Tony Jeffries, women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, Paralympic gold medallist

Stephen Miller and the Newcastle Eagles basketball team. She said: “I have previously worked with the Paralympic swimming team at the Beijing Paralympics. This time round I’ll be in the headquarter team, which will support all GB sports at the 2012 Games. “If a physio has a heavy workload due to the number of injuries in their team, or is unavailable, I have to step in. So it’s about being adaptable, both in terms of different sports and the dynamics of different teams.” Penny heads up the specialist sports injuries clinic, based at the University of Sunderland’s CitySpace sports

centre. Treatments offered by The Performance Clinic include physiotherapy, sports injury rehabilitation and performance services, which include biochemical assessments, Pilates, podiatry, sports massage, strength and conditioning coaching, nutrition, physiology, psychology and sports medicine.

the Caribbean island will be living on campus for three weeks. They will receive treatment and hold team briefings at the University, as well as utilise whatever sporting facilities they require, including the pool at Sunderland Aquatic Centre and Sunderland Football Club’s training facilities.

She will be heading to the preparation camp for the Paralympic teams in Bath, and then up to London.

Penny added: “The University, The Performance Clinic and partners in Sunderland have worked very hard to attract an Olympic team to the city.

As well as these duties, Penny will also be busy in Sunderland with the Grenadan Olympics team.

“It’s rare that the general public can access Olympic-standard training, physiotherapy and expertise, but that is available in Sunderland.”

Twenty sportsmen and women from

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PRODUCTS

AIRSHELL WALKER 17” AND 11” THE Airshell Walker from Benecare Medical provides full-shell protection with pneumatic support. Each Airshell Walker has a low rocker sole for added comfort and ease of ambulation, and a wider foot base with plenty of room for dressings without sacrificing comfort. With the patient in mind, the valve placement has been relocated to improve compliance and ease of inflation. As with all our Walking Braces, the Airshell Walker has a lightweight, durable, semi-rigid shell that supports the limb while providing protection. Housed within the shell are two adjustable aircells that provide compression and support the malleoli. These air cells can be individually inflated using the hand bulb. Enquiries: For more information contact the customer service team on 0161 2736789 or email info@benecaremedical.com.

ÖSSUR FOOT UP® NOW AVAILABLE IN BEIGE THE Foot-Up® is a lightweight ankle orthosis, designed to provide dynamic support for drop foot or similar conditions. This simple orthosis not only provides visible improvement in the patient's gait, by providing support the moment the foot is raised, but it is easy to fit and practically invisible when worn. As a response to patient requests, this hugely popular product is now available in beige. Foot-up combines two separate parts; an ergonomic ankle wrap, which connects to a plastic inlay that fits between the tongue and the laces of a shoe. A separate shoeless foot wrap is also available, which enables the orthosis to be worn without footwear. Both attachments fasten to the ankle wrap by a strong elastic strap with a quick release clip. The ankle wrap is made from a breathable three-layered structure, which makes it comfortable to wear for long periods, without causing irritation to the skin or impeding the foot's freedom of movement. The Foot-up is available in three sizes and includes a shoe inlay. Additional plastic inlays and the Shoeless Foot Wrap are supplied separately from www.ossurwebshop.co.uk. Discounts apply on orders of a Foot-Up and Shoeless Wrap together. Enquiries: Telephone 08450 065 065, email ossuruk@ossur.com or visit www.ossur.co.uk

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Leading company unveils catalogue TALARMADE, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of orthopaedic and footcare products, has launched its new catalogue for 2012. The exciting edition offers buyers and clinical users more affordable product options, including lots of new products. The TalarMade catalogue will appeal more than ever to a wide cross section of cost conscious healthcare market buyers, looking to purchase affordable innovative, high quality products. It reflects the evolution within TalarMade; positioning itself as a fresh, vibrant, contemporary company, whose objective is to utilise its heritage and experience to satisfy the needs of the modern market. The range of orthopaedic supports under the flagship Bodymedics brand, includes improvements made to existing popular products, hi technology design innovations and new value for money trusted clinic solutions. TalarMade CEO Bernie Crewdson said: “This catalogue is the culmination of over 20 years’ experience in the orthopaedic market. It offers the full portfolio of TalarMade products, in one convenient product guide. “We are very proud to provide our customers with an even better choice of high quality and great value products and services.” TalarMade heritage lies strongly in the provision of functional foot orthoses, led by the 3 Point Pivot System Prescription System, which has been given a new fresh approach for 2012. Conscious of the need to offer the clinician a selection of product options, TalarMade has also

been awarded exclusive distribution of the groundbreaking Quadrastep System™, bridging the gap between custom and pre fabricated foot orthoses. In acknowledgement of the changing market dynamics and the financial restraints practitioners face, TalarMade has also revamped the Footmedics and Foot Heaven ranges of footcare products. Range enhancements not only include high quality new products, but also improved retail friendly packaging and point of sale display options, all at highly competitive prices. Changing market dynamics has also encouraged TalarMade to invest in a new improved website, making it more convenient for customers to shop at a time to suit their busy schedules. www.TalarMade.com also includes a facility for clinicians to refer patients to shop directly from the site at retail prices. Thereby, avoiding the need to be directly involved in the administration process of providing patients with the products they need.

CUSTOM CTLSO - WHEN THE REST JUST WON’T DO

INTRODUCING THE DYNAPRO™ TORTICOLLIS ORTHOSIS

BEAGLE Orthopaedic houses a large spinal database of spinal models to suit a variety of patients. From this extensive library we can manufacture your CTLSO using measures provided from a simple measurement chart. We then adapt the relevant model to meet the specification. Each orthosis is fabricated to the patient’s unique model and your specifications, ensuring the optimum fit, support and comfort. A transfer pattern can be applied to the brace if required. CTLSO’s are available as a bi-valve design finished to completion, no intermediate fitting, with a variety of liners such as cool foam, north foam 33®, evazote® and lamb’s wool. The TLSO is then coupled with components from the innovative Aspen CTO to provide exceptional stability required for your patient in the upper thoracic and cervical region. This design offers a step-down reduction for on-going rehabilitation therapy and a highly effective motion restriction with a level of comfort that makes it easily tolerated by patients, enhancing compliance. Available in paediatric and adult sizes, the CTLSO can be delivered in three days - or less for urgent/trauma cases. Enquiries: For a measurement chart telephone 01254 268788.

THE DynaPro™ Torticollis Orthosis is the latest addition to the OCSI range of stock orthoses distributed by Trulife – available for next day delivery from their head office in Sheffield. Designed to treat lateral flexion of the head and neck, this new orthosis features a ‘Bend to Fit’ shoulder cuff which allows for quick and easy customisation to allow for restorative torticollis therapy. In addition, the semi-rigid heat moldable upright with ‘flex’ technology allows for a gentle stretch to reverse tissue shortening or manage lateral cervical flexion spasticity. Using the DynaPro™ Torticollis Orthosis can significantly improve functional alignment of the head and neck facilitating improved vision, swallowing and performance of ADL’s.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES I DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

Enquiries: For further information contact Trulife on 0114 261 8100 or email info@trulife.co.uk


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Assistive Technologies November / December 2011