Never Give Up!

Jami        As a Kindergarten teacher and as a Mom, Jami Marseilles wanted to apply her lessons to real life and show her kids the true results of perseverance and dedication. Jami lost her legs as a teenager, and now at nearly 47 years old she has become the first female, double-amputee to cross the finish line in a full marathon this past weekend in Chicago. Jamie proves that anything is possible with hard work and she inspires us all with her accomplishment.

Jami’s story

 

 

(Photo by Beau Marseilles)

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Reclaim Your Life – Ottobock contest

Everyone has a story, especially if you are an amputee, and Ottobock wants to hear it. Click the link below to submit a photo and tell yours. Once you post your story, share it and tell everyone you know to vote. You could win a trip for 2 to Salt Lake City to tour the Ottobock facility and visit The National Ability Center. Additional prizes include free passes to the 2016 Amputee Coalition Conference. The deadline has been extended to October 16th, so start typing and tell Ottobock how YOU are Reclaiming Your Life!

If you submit your story, let us know and we would love to help spread the word for votes.

RECLAIM YOUR LIFE PHOTO CONTEST

Miyah

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EastPoint is MAKING STRIDES Against Breast Cancer

We are excited to be one of the sponsors from the American Institute of Healthcare & Fitness to support our friends at the American Cancer Society for this fantastic event – MAKING STRIDES Against Breast Cancer. Want to help too? It’s not too late to sign up to walk or donate to the cause. Join us!

EastPoint is MAKING STRIDES Against Breast Cancer – Team Page

making-strides-against-breast-cancer

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A Paralympian’s Dream: Faizal

“You won’t find your dream until you lose your excuses.” 

Orrin Woodward 

Faizal Hamdoon tests his East Point Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc. prosthetic leg Thursday at the track at Kinston High School. Hamdoon was born with melorheostosis, a birth defect, and had an above knee amputation. He is 2016 Paralympic games hopeful. Photo by Janet S. Carter / The Free Press Set-backs, tragedy, and resilience mark the journey of our patient Faizal Hamdoon.  Rather than dwelling on the challenges of his past; he chooses instead to set his eyes on what’s yet to come as he pursues his 2016 Paralympian dream.

Born in Sri Lanka, Faizal’s family came to America to pursue better opportunities for he and his brother and to have access to advanced medical care regarding his rare bone deformity condition, Melorheostosis.  After years of surgeries, it became necessary to allow a below the knee amputation.  Unfortunately, this procedure did not go well and he was left as an above the knee disarticulation amputee.

Through the years, Faizal has been in and out of hospitals, endured numerous surgeries, fought with his family to survive as immigrants, struggled to make ends meet through the ups and downs of a family business, and even endured the tragic loss of his father to cancer.

Yet with the strength of his Dad’s spirit still in his heart, perseverance and resilience have allowed him to arrive where he is today – training and succeeding as a Paralympian. Currently Faizal has his eyes set on his next goal – Brazil 2016! Join us as we support him in fulfilling his dreams! Stay tuned for more updates.Faizal Hamdoon

Other Recent Accomplishments:

Competing in the 2013 Desert Challenge Games was a rewarding debut track event where Faizal got to Nationally Classify as a T42, and bring home the bronze; a personal high for a new comer with only six months of training at the time, racing on a low performance leg!

Competing in meets co-sponsored by the US Paralympic Committee, placing 3rd, 4th and 5th against seasoned athletes and Paralympians – despite setbacks to prosthesis and hamstring issues

Posted in: Company News, Inspirational Stories, Patient Pic

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Truly An Inspiration: Ben Baltz, Amputee and Cancer Survivor

Ben Baltz, an amputee and cancer survivor, has continued to motivate and inspire other amputees for 8 years now, and he does it again with these photos of his training for one of his many triathlons. Go Ben!

http://www.today.com/parents/amputation-hasnt-stopped-me-boys-inspiring-race-photo-lifts-fellow-t41916

 

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Prosthetics In The Developing World

EastPoint strives to provide excellence in care at all of our locations here in the United States, but we also have a passion to serve those who likely have no hope for prosthetic care in the developing world. While our global reach continues to evolve, one location some of our clinicians regularly invest time in is the Peten region of Guatemala, San Benito.

We enjoy building relationships with so many wonderful patients in Guatemala. Here is a short video from the most recent clinic held in August of 2015.

Below: This particular patient was such an inspiration. She lost her husband and her leg when hit by a drunk driver. She and her 18 month old daughter have been living in the hospital because she was unable to care for her child without a prosthesis. Her cousin brought her to the clinic in San Benito, and she told him when she got her leg the first thing she wanted to do was dance with him.

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Prosthetics and Proposed Medicare Changes

As of July 16, 2015, potential alterations to Medicare coverage of lower limb prostheses may prevent appropriate patient care for lower limb amputees. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a new draft for the local coverage determinations (LCD) regarding lower limb prosthetic devices that will make it more difficult for current and future patients to receive coverage for various prosthetic components.

Among the changes to the LCD is the revision of functional level modifiers. According to the new draft, a prosthesis is only considered medically necessary if the device provides a patient with the appearance of a natural gait. This is discriminatory to patients who gain excellent mobility through the use of a device, but cannot attain visibly natural gait due to the nature of their disability. Furthermore, the draft eliminates patient potential from the functional level categories, meaning that patients who are progressing in their functional abilities are prevented from receiving higher functional level componentry. Yet the most worrisome aspect of the policy may be that patients who have utilized Medicare payment for any form of mobility aid (including canes, crutches, walkers, etc.) will be severely limited in their ability to receive higher quality prosthetic components. Instead of permitting patients to improve functional abilities, the policy actually inhibits patients from receiving the care necessary to maximize mobility.

In addition, the new LCD policy implements a number of other coverage limitations and patient requirements that delay or prevent appropriate prosthetic delivery. We encourage you to read a summary of the proposed LCD here: http://www.aopanet.org/2015/07/update-aopas-analysis-of-proposed-lower-limb-prosthetic-policy/ or the entire proposal here: http://www.medicarenhic.com/viewdoc.aspx?id=3109. The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP) created a petition calling for the policy to be rescinded. In order to receive a response from the White House staff, the petition needed to reach 100,000 signatures by August 31. The petition has already surpassed this requirement, though you may still contribute your signature here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/rescind-medicare-proposal-restricting-access-prosthetic-limbs-and-returning-amputees-1970s-standards-care. The expression of your opinions and concerns can help prevent the implementation of this policy and can help patients across the country continue to receive the prosthetics care that they need and deserve. As we wait for a response from the White House, please provide your own thoughts about the policy here: https://aopa.wufoo.com/forms/comment-on-draft-policy-for-lower-limb-prostheses/, as they may be included in the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association’s comments on the issue. All public comments on the proposed policy are due by August, 31, 2015.

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Prevention of Lawn-Mower Related Amputations

It’s summertime and like always you are out mowing your yard. Suddenly, you look up and see your child running towards you. In a split second your life changes forever.

Did you know that according to the Amputee Coalition, more than 600 children a year undergo mower-related amputations? What a significantly high number for an issue that is nearly preventable.

What can you do to make sure your child stays safe?safety

  1. Never allow your child to be in the yard when you are mowing. Better yet, make sure they are inside the house.
  2. For younger children especially, be sure an adult in the house is actively watching them as it only takes a moment for them to slip out a door.
  3. Explain the dangers of mowing to your child. Help them understand why this is such a serious subject and why their obedience is crucial.
  4. Do not let your child ride on the lawn mower with you.
  5. Do not allow your child to play on a lawn mower, even if it is off.
  6. Only allow children 12 years or older to operate a lawn mower, and be sure a parent is still supervising.

Children are not the only ones to receive mower-related amputations.

preventionMower safety tips for adults

1. Be sure to wear the proper attire for protection. Closed toed shoes, pants, eye protection and gloves.

2. Clear the ground of rocks, limbs, and debris before you begin.

3. Refuel either before you start or only while the motor is cool and only refuel outdoors, not inside the garage.

4. Make sure your mower has an automatic shut off either as part of the handle, if it’s a push mower, or when the seat is empty for a riding mower.

5. When removing grass, unclogging the chute, or inspecting any part, turn the mower off and be certain the blades have come to a complete stop.

6. Do not drive or pull the mower backwards in reverse unless absolutely necessary – in which case be sure to check behind you before doing so.

     Remember: 

ounce

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Child’s Play: A LEGO® Compatible Prosthetic Device

Innovation and creativity are paramount to the advancement of prosthetic technology, but this new concept takes creativity to a whole new level. While the practical functionality and durability of this particular device is yet to be confirmed, the idea certainly gets a A+ for unique and fun!

LEGO® Prosthesislego

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Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly: Defending the Benefits of Cranial Helmets

IMG_7203     Google “skull deformity helmets” and nearly half of the   results on the first page are articles that criticize helmet therapy for infants, claiming that the expensive orthotics are a total waste of money. Despite numerous studies that support the effectiveness of helmet therapy in correcting plagiocephaly and brachycephaly [3-6], media sources such as The New York Times and Boston.com have released articles that discourage treatment [8,9]. The basis for nearly all of helmet therapy criticism arises from a single study published on May 1, 2014, by Renske van Wijk and a team of researchers in the Netherlands [11]. The study, Helmet therapy in infants with positional skull deformation: randomised controlled trial, compared the 24-month outcomes of infants (aged 5 to 6 months) assigned to either a helmet therapy group or a control group that received no treatment. According to the study, helmet therapy was just as effective in correcting skull deformation as no treatment. Thus, van Wijk et al. discourage the use of helmets when treating moderate cases of skull deformation. There are numerous caveats associated with these conclusions, however, that should be taken into account before deciding to leave your infant’s skull deformity untreated.Layla Mewborn

Firstly, here is some background information on the condition in the United States. In 1992, the initiation of the “Back to Sleep” campaign resulted in increased numbers of infants sleeping in a supine position to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While the campaign has been extremely effective in reducing instances of SIDS, static supine position is one of the leading risk factors for plagiocephaly. Thus, the increase in skull deformity cases since the 1990s is likely correlated with the 1992 campaign [1]. In 2013, plagiocephaly was estimated to affect 46.6% of infants aged 7 -12 weeks [7]. In addition to prolonged external force resulting from static supine position, other risk factors include torticollis (asymmetric tight neck muscles), prenatal uterine constraint, and perinatal birth injury [1]. The two most common treatments are cranial helmets and repositioning practices—a more conservative approach where infants are positioned in prone for short periods of time. According to the van Wijk study, however, natural course is just as effective as the more aggressive, cranial helmet treatment.   Bling Your Band

Following publication on May 1, 2014, there was a high volume of critical responses from members of the medical community regarding the study’s results and conclusions. One of the most common criticisms is that the study did not include infants with severe deformities, torticollis, or other developmental neuromuscular issues. Thus, it is still widely believed that infants with severe skull deformities or neuromuscular problems stand to benefit from cranial helmets. Jordan Steinberg, a pediatric plastic surgeon, points out the high percentages of study participants that experienced problems with the cranial helmet during its use in the study [10]. Reportedly, 96% of the infants experienced skin irritation, 76% unpleasant odor, and 33% felt some sort of pain from the helmet. Furthermore, 73% of participants reported improper fit and shifting of the orthotic [11]. Noting these issues, and the low percentages of full recovery in both subject groups, Steinberg concludes that the participants received “inadequate treatment” [10]. Kevin Kelly, a research consultant at Cranial Technologies also comments on these statistics stating, “The lack of improvement seen in their study was the direct result of their ill-fitting helmets” [2]. Had participants received properly fitting helmets and proper care, van Wijk et al. may have observed significantly different outcomes.helmet

Although many view skull deformity as solely a cosmetic issue, “untreated cranial asymmetries have been linked to visual defects, ear infections, middle ear malfunction, jaw bone changes, developmental delay, learning difficulties, and other psychomotor delays” [12]. Treating instances of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly in a timely manner is important for ensuring proper development. The results of van Wijk’s study are not completely reliable and do not annul the value of cranial helmets. The study did not include severe cases of skull deformity, and patients were not properly fitted with their orthotics. More research is certainly necessary to properly characterize the effectiveness of cranial helmets. For the time being, seeing as skull deformities can lead to numerous developmental complications, it should be of primary concern to treat the condition rather than quickly dismissing a device that has been historically successful in correcting countless cases of skull deformity.

EastPoint Prosthetics & Orthotics

Jennifer holds her son, Brayden, who just received his new cranial remolding helmet.

 

Works Cited

1. Grigsby, Katrina. “Cranial Remolding Helmet Treatment of Plagiocephaly: Comparison of Results and Treatment Length in Younger Versus Older Infant Populations.” JPO Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics 21.1 (2009): 55-63. American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. Web. 1 July 2015. <http://www.oandp.org/jpo/library/2009_01_055.asp>.

 2. Kelly, Kevin M. “Re: Helmet Therapy in Infants with Positional Skull Deformation: Randomised Controlled Trial.” Letter to RM Van Wijk. 10 May 2014. The British Medical Journal. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, n.d. Web. 01 July 2015. <http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2741/rapid-responses>.

 3. Kim, Se Yon, Moon-Sung Park, Jeong-In Yang, and Shin-Young Yim. “Comparison of Helmet Therapy and Counter Positioning for Deformational Plagiocephaly.” Ann Rehabil Med Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine 37.6 (2013): 785-95. PubMed. Ann Rehabil Med. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://vb3lk7eb4t.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Comparison of Helmet Therapy and Counter>.

4. Kluba, Susanne, Wiebke Kraut, Benjamin Calgeer, Siegmar Reinert, and Michael Krimmel. “Treatment of Positional Plagiocephaly – Helmet or No Helmet?” Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery 42.5 (2013): 683-88. Science Direct. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://vb3lk7eb4t.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Treatment of positional plagiocephaly – H>.

5. Lee, Robert P., John F. Teichgraeber, James E. Baumgartner, Amy L. Waller, Jeryl D. English, Robert E. Lasky, Charles C. Miller, Jaime Gateno, and James J. Xia. “Long-Term Treatment Effectiveness of Molding Helmet Therapy in the Correction of Posterior Deformational Plagiocephaly: A Five-Year Follow-Up.” The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 45.3 (2008): 240-45. ProQuest. Allen Press Publishing Services. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/docview/204925188?pq-origsite=summon>.

6. Lipira, A. B., S. Gordon, T. A. Darvann, N. V. Hermann, A. E. Van Pelt, S. D. Naidoo, D. Govier, and A. A. Kane. “Helmet Versus Active Repositioning for Plagiocephaly: A Three-Dimensional Analysis.” Pediatrics 126.4 (2010): 936-45. Pediactrics. American Academy of Pediatrics. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://pediatrics.aappublications.org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/content/126/4/e936>.

7. Mawji, A., A. R. Vollman, J. Hatfield, D. A. Mcneil, and R. Sauve. “The Incidence of Positional Plagiocephaly: A Cohort Study.” Pediatrics 132.2 (2013): 298-304. Pediactrics. American Academy of Pediatrics. Web. 1 July 2015. <http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/2/298>.

8. Saint Louis, Catherine. “Helmets Do Little to Help Moderate Infant Skull Flattening, Study Finds.” The New York Times. 1 May 2014. Web. 26 June 2015

9. Salahi, Lara. “Study: Corrective Baby Helmets Don’t Work.” Boston.com. Boston Globe Media Partners, 1 May 2014. Web. 26 June 2015.

10. Steinberg, Jordan P. “Re: Helmet Therapy in Infants with Positional Skull Deformation: Randomised Controlled Trial.” Letter to RM Van Wijk. 01 Nov. 2014. The British Medical Journal. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, n.d. Web. 01 July 2015. <http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2741/rapid-responses>.

11. Van Wijk, R. M., L. A. Van Vlimmeren, C. G. M. Groothuis-Oudshoorn, C. P. B. Van Der Ploeg, M. J. Ijzerman, and M. M. Boere-Boonekamp. “Helmet Therapy in Infants with Positional Skull Deformation: Randomised Controlled Trial.” BMJ (2014): 348. Thebmj. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2741>.

12. Wang, Judy. “Babies, Misshapen Heads, and Plagiocephaly Helmets: A Physical Therapist Perspective.” Web log post. North Shore Pediatric Therapy. N.p., 20 May 2014. Web. 8 July 2015. <http://nspt4kids.com/parenting/babies-misshapen-heads-plagiocephaly-helmets-physical-therapist-perspective/>.

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