“In October of 2013, three-month-old Heidi is diagnosed with the most common fatal disease of infants, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Juncture at the Still Point is a mother’s true story of grief, spiritual growth and hope in an incredible era of advancements in treatments for genetic diseases.” (Patchwork Publishing)
We are honored to be a part of Heidi’s journey and grateful for her mother’s inspiration to write this book. Thanks to their generosity, we have a free copy to give away!
This book is available on Amazon.com or you can win a free copy by visiting
our EastPoint Facebook page and liking, commenting on or sharing the post.
3D printing is one of the fastest growing industries at the moment. It seems that almost every day people are finding new applications for this technology, especially within the medical field. 3D printing boasts the ability to create complex designs quickly and for prices much lower than ever before. With prosthetists and orthotists requiring custom plastic molds every day, this could revolutionize the business. By scanning residual limbs and using a 3D printer to create a socket, prosthetists would be able to offer patients potentially better-fitting devices the same day of the scan, without going through a middleman. While it has its advantages, there are reasons that technology has not already put prosthetics/orthotics manufacturers out of business.
Current 3D-printed prosthetics may spend more time under repair than being used day-to-day. That’s because the materials used for printing are not durable enough for legitimate use. Most jobs are printed using polylactic acid, an extremely light material that makes it possible to attach 3D-printed hands to the body using nothing more than Velcro straps. While lightweight is good, it also means that they are not strong enough to support any significant weight . Even when using more expensive, durable materials than polylactic acid, 3D-printers work by laying down thin layers of hot plastic. So, when a force is applied parallel to the direction that the layers were laid down, the printed object is strong, but when a force is applied perpendicular to the layers, the device is weaker and subject to cracking . While there are certain materials that are strong enough to overcome this issue, they are so expensive that the process is no longer cheaper than the old-fashioned method.
All of this being said, the technology is exciting, and could have a greater impact in the future. Right now, the technology is useful for generating model prostheses that are not meant to stand up to everyday wear and tear. In some cases, 3D-printed products can be useful for kids who quickly outgrow their devices and cannot afford to invest in something more expensive that won’t fit a month later. Some successful applications have also been seen in scoliosis braces offering more appealing aesthetics and increased comfort .
The bottom line though is that we must be realistic about the uses of 3D-printing in the field of prosthetics and orthotics. 3D-printed materials are not at the point that they can replace current devices to be used every day, but hopefully they can in the future, saving patients money, time, and discomfort.
Guest Blogger – A. Allen
We are thrilled this summer to invest part of our time into a student intern from UNC-Chapel Hill, Andrew Allen. Andrew has been a huge asset in the Raleigh office, offering his help in whatever capacity needed, and as internships are often a mutually beneficial two-way street, he has also gained great insight into the field of Prosthetics and Orthotics and into varying perspectives regarding patient care. Below is a glimpse into one of the things Andrew has learned about our highest value at EastPoint — excellence in patient care.
“As an intern at EastPoint Prosthetics and Orthotics, I can truly say that this company is one-of-a-kind. It is the only facility in North Carolina that offers mobile services. This sets EastPoint apart from its competitors, as patients are relieved of transportation challenges to and from an office. Mobile services require a lot of time and effort for EastPoint clinicians who sometimes drive nearly 45 minutes away, which is one of the reasons most competitor companies do not offer this option, yet EastPoint gladly takes the time to serve their patients in this way because they know, in the end, it’s all about building lasting relationships and ensuring their patients’ needs are met.
The unique benefit of mobile services really hit home for me the day I accompanied Brent Wright on one of his home visits, 30 miles away, in Zebulon. We pulled up to a small trailer home out in what felt like the middle of nowhere. There were a couple of red pick-up trucks parked out front and some catnip bags lying around in the back yard. Brent and I walked up the back steps and entered through a screen door to find the patient sitting in his wheel chair watching “The Price is Right.” The trailer was decorated with NASCAR paraphernalia, most of it labeled with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s number 88. He is an older patient, and he lives in his trailer alone. He was unable to wear his prosthesis that day because it was causing him pain in the back of his leg. Brent carefully took his time adjusting the prosthesis to be certain the problem was resolved while enjoying conversation and jokes along the way. It was clear to me that at EastPoint taking care of patients isn’t just about fixing problems with their prosthetic and orthotic devices; it’s about making each patient feel valued and appreciated — like a true friend. Had we not made the 30-minute drive out to this patient’s mobile home, I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for him to put on a painful prosthesis and drive himself into Raleigh to come to the office.
EastPoint recognizes that transportation is a real barrier for many, if not most, of their patients and they are not only willing, but they are excited to alleviate this challenge. Relationship building is clearly important to EastPoint, and I am thankful to enjoy an internship with a company that puts patient care over the bottom dollar. ” — Andrew Allen, Intern
A few weeks ago, one of our friends had a revelation. For over 50 years she has struggled through the challenges of being a diabetic, countless insulin injections, many stays in the hospital, and now, her most dreaded fear, dialysis. Yet recently, during this difficult time of dialysis, she had her greatest revelation. She said for all those years she always relied on the expertise of doctors to treat each issue as it arose, but never considered how SHE was supposed to be part of that equation too! She didn’t fully understand HER part in treating her condition. For the first time, it fully resonated with her that doctors can only do so much. Without her cooperation and active participation in her health, their efforts would never lead to full healing. It was a wake up call! With this new understanding, she has made significant changes in her food choices, exercise habits and more. Now her only regret is not realizing all of this sooner, when it could have made an even bigger difference in her quality of life for a greater number of years.
This story resonated with us because too often we see a disconnect between patients and the variety of medical professionals who are helping them. We feel it is not only important, but absolutely critical to approach prosthetic and orthotic care with a TEAM APPROACH. A collaboration involving doctors, patients, physical therapists, care takers, and prosthetic/orthotic clinicians. We strive to have open lines of communication. This commitment is one of the reasons EastPoint is one of the only providers to offer mobile services. Not only is it convenient for the patients, but, for example, when we can actually join the patient while they are with their physical therapist we are able to better understand their needs and address issues right away. When mobile services are not available, we are still committed to being open and available to talk with the other key parts of the healthcare team and work together to create the most productive outcomes possible.
We realize, however, our role is only one part of the equation. If you have not already, we challenge you, like our friend I mentioned before, to consider how vital your own part is in managing your healthy outcome. What can you do or change to improve your situation, and how can others involved in your healthcare help? Please contact us any time if you have concerns or questions. We want to help you become the best and healthiest version of yourself that you can be.
So many parents face this situation and suddenly begin to panic, but rest assured this is a common problem and can often be resolved without extreme measures.
The frequency of this concern for parents began to increase in 1992 when the “Back to Sleep” campaign suggested lying an infant on their back in their crib instead of on their tummy in effort to decrease the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). While the American Academy of Pediatrics does feel the campaign has led to decreased instances of SIDS (1),other research indicates a correlation in the rise of plagiocephaly (flat spots) (2) due to the campaign. Nevertheless, some feel this is a small price to pay for keeping infants alive.
It would be shortsighted to place all the blame on the “Back to Sleep” campaign though. Numerous other factors can be at play such as a restrictive uterine environment, torticollis (muscle stiffness in the neck), infant carriers, bouncy seats and swings (3) to name a few. While some of these factors may be avoided, others are entirely out of a parent’s control.
The article below from kidshealth.org has great information on positional plagiocephaly, along with some excellent tips for repositioning techniques that may solve the problem without medical intervention.
At EastPoint Prosthetics and Orthotics, we offer advanced scanning technology for cranial shaping helmets. Unlike some other methods that can be uncomfortable or scary for your child, our kinderBAND™ scanner can be used while your child is sitting on your lap! If you have any concerns, talk with your child’s doctor for a prescription to get a scan. We have an excellent track record of successful outcomes. Most parents of our patients feel the sacrifice of time spent in the cranial helmet far outweighs the future benefits for their child. While there are some who may dispute the need or effectiveness of this process, we have seen the proof in our own patients. Here is an additional resource explaining effectiveness of the cranial reshaping process. http://www.oandp.com/articles/2014-08_04.asp
For more information about our Raleigh area cranial helmet provider, you can call (919) 844-7897.
For our Eastern NC cranial helmet provider, call (252) 522-3278.
Did you miss any of our recent inspirational quotes? Whether you did or are just looking for an extra dose of motivation, check out the five quotes we loved the week of Nov. 4!
Monday, Nov. 4, 2013
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle
Check out Layla with her new brace! Layla, who is bravely fighting cancer, doesn’t let anything get the best of her.
Learn more about Layla’s story on her Facebook page, “Love for Layla.”
Did you miss any of our recent inspirational quotes? Whether you did or are just looking for an extra dose of motivation, check out the five quotes we loved the week of Oct. 28!
Monday, Oct. 28, 2013
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
Did you miss any of our recent inspirational quotes? Whether you did or are just looking for an extra dose of motivation, check out the five quotes we loved the week of Sept. 23!
Monday, Sept. 23, 2013
“Follow your dreams. They know the way.” – Kobi Yamada
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
Here’s Dennie showing off his new Cascade Dafo, Inc. AFOs and KeepingPace shoes.
If you look closely, you may be able to see Scooby-Doo on his new braces!
Kinston, NC, patient Dennie wears his new AFOs and shoes.