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Book Review: New Advances in Prosthetics and Orthotics
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Title: New Advances in Prosthetics and Orthotics, An Issue of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics (Volume 17-1) (The Clinics: Internal Medicine (Volume 17-1))

Author: Bussell, M. H., Editor
Publisher: W. B. Saunders Company, 274 pages
Reviewed by: Dr. Stephan Manucharian, CP, FAAOP

This issue, "Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics," consists of thirteen individual articles, written by various authors, which cover multiple aspects of recent advances in the field of prosthetics and orthotics as of the year of the publication. On the prosthetic side, these include such new developments in the surgical approach to upper extremity myoelectric prosthetic fittings as targeted re-innervation and it's clinical and functional benefits; the authors discuss the contemporary approach to and concepts of treatment of upper limb amputees and challenges practitioners must face while working with such amputees.

Other authors analyze modern approaches to transtibial and transfemoral prosthetic socket fit, variations of the socket design and their challenges, as well as postoperative management techniques of lower extremity amputees, which include immediate post-operative prosthetic devices and removable rigid dressings. In a separate article, improvements in the availability of prosthetic components for pediatric applications are discussed. One section is dedicated to an overview of the available microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joints and a brief history of their development.

On the orthotic side, the authors discuss the efficacy and cost of prefabricated custom spinal orthotics as compared to custom devices, as well as provide an analysis of clinical advantages of triplanar dynamic response ankle-foot-orthoses (AFO) as compared to conventional custom thermoplastic AFOs. Another article offers a detailed overview of neuropathic limb issues and orthotic treatment options for such patients. There is also a discussion of weight-supported treadmill training equipment and its efficacy. One article is dedicated to an overview of the current state of computer-aided design and manufacture in the field of prosthetics and orthotics and its shortcomings. Another author addresses the importance of developing an optimal treatment plan for lower extremity amputees that must include competent physical therapy with a suggestion that specialized educational systems with an emphasis on combining the expertise of both a prosthetist and a physical therapist may be beneficial to the outcome of treatment of amputees.  

In summary: Recommended for physicians, physical therapists, prosthetists, and other allied health practitioners who want to stay informed of the current state of prosthetics and orthotics and improve their knowledge on the advances in this field.   

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