Trial of prosthetic attachment to bone-metal implant shows promising results | Engineering firms design running blades for Paralympic athlete | "Virtual physical therapy" helps amputees, others regain mobility
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August 28, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Trial of prosthetic attachment to bone-metal implant shows promising results
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in England have completed a trial of the procedure known as intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthesis, or Itap, in which the prosthesis attaches to a metal insert that has been implanted in the bone of the residual limb. Although official findings are pending, many patients reported dramatic improvements in their quality of life. "You essentially had no sensation with a socket and with Itap you can feel everything," said above-knee amputee Mark O'Leary. The Hindu (India) (8/28)
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Science and Technology
Engineering firms design running blades for Paralympic athlete
Altair Thinklabs and Eastman Chemical have combined to test new materials and innovative designs for elite Paralympic "blade runner" Blake Leeper, who hopes to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Among their innovations are coating the blades in a liquid crystal polymer fiber that reduced drag by 57% in wind simulations, and they are working on a suit that Leeper can wear to provide more secure attachment of his prosthesis. Kevin Shinn, vice president of design for Altair, says he hopes some of the ideas can be adapted for amputees who are not elite athletes. (8/27)
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"Virtual physical therapy" helps amputees, others regain mobility
The new Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment at the University of South Florida uses virtual reality to provide rehabilitation therapy to amputees and patients with orthopedic injuries. The system simulates real-world activities in a controlled setting, allowing patients to regain mobility. The technology may also be useful with stroke and brain-injured patients, associate professor Jason Highsmith said. WTSP-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (8/25)
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Medical News
Pomegranate juice may help manage blood sugar levels in diabetes
A recent study shows that consuming a certain amount of pomegranate juice every day could result in a lower fasting glucose level for certain people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers credited the results to the fruit's high level of antioxidants. NutraIngredients (8/25)
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Flavonoid foods lower risk of insulin, inflammation issues
Foods with a high concentration of flavonoids are linked to lower levels of insulin resistance and chronic inflammation and higher levels of a protein that regulates blood glucose, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. High insulin resistance is linked to type 2 diabetes. High-flavonoid foods and drinks include berries, chocolate, herbs, some vegetables, red grapes and wine. (8/25)
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Legislative and Regulatory
HHS selects Kevin Counihan to run
Kevin Counihan has been tapped by HHS to be the new CEO of the federal health insurance exchange. Counihan, who led Connecticut's successful marketplace, will also oversee the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and handle relationships with state-based exchanges. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/27), (8/26)
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Grants helped state exchanges enroll more people than
State-run health insurance exchanges outperformed even after glitches on the federally run site were fixed, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute. States received block grants to establish their exchanges and hire navigators, and states that set up their own exchanges received additional block grants to hire "In-Person Assistors." Community health centers in five states that partnered with the federal government received additional funding. The Philadelphia Inquirer/Kaiser Health News (8/24)
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Trend Watch
Architecture student designs lighted arm prosthesis
Architecture student Evan Kuester created an elegant prosthetic arm for a friend that includes internal lighting and a feminine aesthetic. (8/26)
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First sanctioned amputee boxing group formed
The National Amputee Boxing Association, based in San Antonio, is the first sanctioned amputee boxing association in the nation. The newly formed group offers veterans with lower-limb amputations, as well as some civilians, the opportunity to pursue their chosen sport. KENS-TV (San Antonio) (8/28)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA members: Have you voted in the AOPA 2014 election? Cast your vote today! The countdown is on for Las Vegas -- one week to the AOPA National Assembly. Share your experience on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag: #AOPA14. Jurisdiction B publishes the results of the pre-payment review of high error rate DMEPOS claims -- get the update! On the horizon, the St. Louis Coding & Billing Seminar is coming up. It's your gateway to everything coding and billing -- register today! OPAF's Adaptive Golf Clinic is coming to the Assembly in Vegas for amputees -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more or register online.
Sept. 10: Urban Legends in O&P: What to Believe, Webinar conference  Learn more or register online
Oct. 20-21:
Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, St. Louis, Mo. Learn more or register online.
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Believe you can and you're halfway there."
-- Theodore Roosevelt,
26th U.S. president
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