Rehab hospital tests BiOM prosthesis on more mainstream amputees | Surgeon creates low-cost prostheses from recycled materials | Data: Fewer diabetes-related complications since 1990
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April 17, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Rehab hospital tests BiOM prosthesis on more mainstream amputees
Boston-based Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is testing the BiOM prosthetic leg developed by Hugh Herr at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and famously demonstrated by ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis in a TED Talk. The study is designed to see how the device can help less physically fit amputees. "[W]e're actually looking at individuals who may not be performing at the highest level of physical activity, but using technology to raise their level of function," said David Crandell, medical director of Spaulding's Amputee and Musculoskeletal Programs. A rechargeable battery helps power a more natural range of motion in the BiOM device. New England Cable News (Boston) (4/16)
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Surgeon creates low-cost prostheses from recycled materials
Orthopedic surgeon Therdchai Jivacate, founder and secretary general of the Prostheses Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, developed a way to make prostheses from recycled materials, including yogurt containers, water bottles and ring tabs. He also invented a method of sand-casting the residual limb to quickly make a comfortable socket. "The 'leg' that I had created allows farmers to work in rice fields and even climb trees. It does not look like a regular artificial human leg but is more like an elephant hoof," he said. New Straits Times (Malaysia) (4/15)
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Medical News
Data: Fewer diabetes-related complications since 1990
A study in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that while diabetes rates continue to climb in the U.S., disease-related complications have shown a significant decline since 1990. Researchers said better preventive care resulted in a 68% drop in heart attack risk and a 64% reduction in hyperglycemia-related deaths. The risk of lower-limb amputation and stroke decreased by about 50% each, while cases of dialysis- or transplant-requiring kidney disease saw a 28% decline, researchers found. Reuters (4/16)
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Obesity raises diabetes risk regardless of metabolic health
Obese participants showed higher hazard ratios for type 2 diabetes than their slimmer counterparts, regardless of their metabolic health status, a South Korean study indicated. Changes in body weight also increased the risk of developing diabetes, researchers wrote in Obesity. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (4/16)
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Protein intake influences diabetes risk, study says
People who had the highest intake of animal protein had a 22% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than did those who ate the least amount, a study in Diabetes Care says. Researchers noted a 6% increased risk of diabetes for every additional 10 grams of protein consumed daily. Reuters (4/15)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
No more ACA enrollment extensions, White House says
The open enrollment period for people who had trouble signing up for a health insurance plan through the federally run exchange will not be extended further, amid evidence that the backlog had largely been dealt with, a CMS spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/15)
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Trend Watch
Amputee runner returning to complete Boston Marathon this year
Jeff Glasbrenner, who lost his leg in a farming accident as a child, was three blocks from the finish line when the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon last year. He is returning to finish the race, along with nearly 5,000 other runners. Two of them are Glasbrenner's friends and fellow leg amputees, Andre Slay and Chris Madison, who had never run in a marathon before beginning their training with Glasbrenner. The three have been training together for nearly a year. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press (4/16)
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Md. amputee returns to work as volunteer firefighter
William Fisher has returned to work at the Odenton, Md., Volunteer Fire Company eight months after the below-knee amputation of his right leg, meeting 13 physical standards to regain his certification. He uses a titanium-and-carbon-fiber prosthesis for firefighting and worked with a company to create a special boot to fit it. Fisher is the second amputee firefighter in Anne Arundel County. Trey Small, who has a prosthetic left hand, became a paid firefighter in January. The Baltimore Sun (4/16)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Two new enrollment requirements in the Medicare program are considered high risk: Fingerprinting & Background Checks -- get the scoop from AOPA! Deadline for the Opportunities in Clinical O&P Research Support and Grants is coming up: April 30th -- be sure to get your proposal in ASAP! AOPA has announced the next Coding & Billing Seminar in Boston, Mass. -- sign your practitioners and office staff up today for advanced coding and billing techniques! HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
May 14:  Modifiers: How & When to Use Them (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.
June 12-13: Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, Boston, Mass. Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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