Prosthetic implant is successful in British trial subject | Teen develops thought-controlled prosthetic hand | Era holds remarkable advances in prosthetics
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March 25, 2014
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Prosthetic implant is successful in British trial subject
British above-knee amputee Michael Lloyd has a femoral implant to which he attaches his prosthetic leg. One of nine subjects in a clinical trial, Lloyd said he can don or doff his prosthesis in a few seconds, and wearing it causes "no pain at all." He noted the implant gives him "complete comfort," as opposed to a traditional socket, which can cause irritation to the residual limb during sports and other periods of high activity. BBC (3/24)
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Teen develops thought-controlled prosthetic hand
Shiva Nathan, 15, has won science awards and widespread recognition for developing an artificial hand that can perform basic functions, such as waving or flexing fingers, by using brain waves transmitted via a wireless Bluetooth device. "[I]t's definitely going in the right direction, it's addressing a real problem, and it's a solution that's really exciting," said Jay Schnitzer of Mitre, a defense contractor in Bedford, Mass. Nathan is now using eye-tracking technology in an attempt to make artificial fingers move by looking at them. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (3/24)
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Era holds remarkable advances in prosthetics
Advances in medicine and technology at a time of military conflict have led to an era of stunning advances in prosthetic limbs, according to this overview of the industry. Key developments include myoelectric hands, gyroscopic knees, durable lightweight materials and computer software that anticipates the user's intentions. The next frontier is to permit the user's thoughts to control movement through such techniques as targeted muscle reinnervation surgery that would ultimately allow prostheses to respond to nerve signals. The Week (3/22)
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Medical News
Pittsburgh researchers use stem cells to treat diabetic neuropathy, other nerve diseases
Tests in animal models have shown that stem cells from muscle tissue can help restore damaged sciatic nerves and may have the potential for use in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy and multiple sclerosis, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. "This study indicates that placing adult, human muscle derived stem cells at the site of peripheral nerve injury can help heal the lesion," senior investigator Johnny Huard said. American City Business Journals/Pittsburgh (3/20)
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Family agrees to amputation of 11-year old's painful leg
Amit Vigoda, 11, finally persuaded his mother to allow him to have his leg amputated after a lifetime of pain. His right leg has recurring fractures as the result of a rare condition, congenital pseudoarthrosis of tibia and fibula with osteofibrous dysplasia. Because multiple surgeries have not solved the problem, he will undergo either a below-knee, Syme's or ankle disarticulation amputation on April 10. "[I]t will change my life. I won't have any pain anymore and I can run and jump and play soccer," Amit said. ABC News (3/24)
Mammography after 70 not linked to fewer advanced breast cancer cases
Routine mammograms for women ages 70 to 75 did not significantly reduce the number of advanced breast cancer cases, a Dutch study showed. Women from this age group had a greater likelihood of dying from causes other than early-stage breast tumors. Risks of overtreatment included postoperative complications and adverse reactions to chemotherapy or hormone treatment. The findings were presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference. HealthDay News (3/21)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
AHRQ to use 12 projects to evaluate stage 3 MU objectives
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has collaborated with the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to select 12 grant-winning initiatives to help them evaluate and shape objectives for stage 3 EHR meaningful use. The projects will cover various aspects of MU such as patient engagement, clinical decision-making, data exchange and care coordination. Results are expected in June. Healthcare IT News (3/24)
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Business and Finance
Louisville, Ky., to be new home of Ottobock's N. American distribution operations
Ottobock will relocate its logistics and distribution operations in Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, to Louisville, Ky., with a $3 million investment, according to the Kentucky governor's office. Germany-based Ottobock plans to create 25 new jobs in Louisville over the next three years and said it expects to triple its business with the help of the move. American City Business Journals/Louisville, Ky. (3/20)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, and it's just around the bend -- what better way to support the profession than to participate in the Annual Policy Forum, April 2-3 at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel, with extended educational programs being offered April 3-4? Register today! The deadline for proposals under the Request for Pilot Grant Proposals is coming -- check out AOPA's opportunities for clinical O&P research support today! Ottobock's logistics and distribution operations move to Louisville, Ky., and ABC takes on a whole new level of participation at AOPA's 2014 Policy Forum -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
April 2 - 4:  2014 AOPA Policy Forum, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C. Learn more or register online.
April 7 - 8:  Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Seminar, Las Vegas Learn more or register online.
April 9:  How to Use Advanced Beneficiary Notices (ABNs) Effectively (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.

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