Anatomical Concepts (UK)
Masters of Rehabilitation Engineering
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Opinions, Ideas & News from Anatomical Concepts (UK) Ltd

The PRAFO and preventing pressure sores

The PRAFO designs of ankle foot orthoses are an effective way of (ideally) preventing or healing pressure sores at the heel. So why are these designs successful in achieving this in both immobile and ambulant patients? The answer to the PRAFO’s effectiveness is very simple - even if understanding how pressure ulcers can develop is complex. In this article we touch on the biomechanics of pressure ulcers.

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Staving off Alzheimers in advancing age

One of the least “spectacular” products we deal with is the Bike Labyrinth system. It is however, one of the products that can have the biggest impact in practice. When cognitive decline due to Alzheimers or dementia is stealing quality of life, this approach provides a practical intervention that makes a real difference. What does science tell us about maintaining long term brain health? We take a look at this

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FES Cycling can build muscle mass after paralysis

We have known for decades that functional, electrically stimulated (FES) cycle training such as with the RehaMove FES bike can improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of spinal cord injured persons and others with neurological conditions such as MS, Parkinsons or recovering from a stroke. This is a massive benefit for long term health and fitness but what clients tend to notice is that their muscles get bigger - and that’s not a bad thing either.

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Finding fitness despite disability

Being resilient is a great quality to gain. Improving and maintaining our fitness is important for all of us. If you are disabled and have limited mobility, keeping fit and active can feel much more difficult, but it doesn't have to be this way. In any case, keeping fit has a big pay off when it comes to gaining quality of life for the long term. You can look upon exercise as the best medicine - so how do we get it?

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The Tek RMD - a mobility device that gets you standing

The Tek RMD combines two functions we can see in many other rehabilitation products and does this combination in a rather unique way. The Tek RMD combines the ability to easily stand and to move in an upright posture despite paraplegia. The typical client with a lower-level spinal cord injury recognises the need for them to stand on a daily basis but would admit that this has been hard to achieve. Who wants to take time out of their day to fit in some static standing ?- it might be good for you but it’s not really functional. Using the Tek RMD allows the user much more freedom to combine standing and movement indoors without compromising function to a great extent.

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Which PRAFO design should I choose?

The original PRAFO design, designated the 650SKG, is the choice to consider when you wish to prevent heel ulcers in a recumbent patient or a patient with compromised mobility. When additional adjustment is required to accomodate contractures and other anomalies around the foot and ankle, the 652SKG and 653SKG provide easy adjustment without the need for special tools. Useful adjustments without compromising heel and ankle protection.

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Which knee orthosis to use for severe osteoarthritis?

When would you use a V-VAS orthosis? Osteoarthritis of the knee produces pain and reduced quality of life and orthotic bracing is commonly used as a conservative management approach. Depending on severity and choice of brace it can be helpful. The accepted wisdom is that bracing is less effective with severe osteoarthritis - but what do you use when surgery is not possible, refused or too risky.

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Preventing heel ulceration with a PRAFO ankle foot orthosis

When we brought the PRAFO ankle foot orthosis to the UK in the 1990’s, heel pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcers were a huge problem for the NHS. Actually they are still a massive problem for the NHS. A major key to prevention is to relieve or ideally eliminate pressure and shear effects. The biomechanics of tissue are complex and this means that it is easier to aim to eliminate pressure and shear rather than use a method which assumes that a particular level of pressure is “safe”. The reason the PRAFO range is so effective for prevention and treatment of heel ulcers is that it cradles and positions the foot and ankle so that there is no possibility of pressure or shear force at the heel.

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Bike Labyrinth and Combating Dementia

Exergaming with Bike Labyrinth is an intervention in which physical exercise is combined with cognitive stimulation in a single task. A recent study deployed Bike Labyrinth’s interactive cycle route technology with older adults with dementia. The study found that exergame training improved psychomotor speed, compared to an active control group. This finding may be clinically relevant as psychomotor speed is an important predictor for functional decline.

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Indego Therapy - Enabling Alice's Story

Indego can’t produce miracles - but the combination of great technology and therapy can come close. Our last article featured Alice and her story of recovery from a hypoxic brain injury. As a young woman she was looking at a situation in which she would be in bed for 23 hours a day and hoisted to a wheelchair for the rest of each day. Indego along with the efforts of the More Rehab team have got Alice back on her feet and moving toward independance.

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