3 Quick PT Updates You Probably May Not Have Heard Of (Yet)

Brain-controlled prosthetic arm restores amputee’s sense of touch

Wonder what’s up in the world of prosthetics? Now we got brain-controlled AND improved sensory feedback.


Deep down, you’re worried.

You’re worried of not keeping up. You’re worried that what you’re doing and what you’re not doing aren’t enough. You’re worried about being limited.

You’re stressed, you’re tired and you are this close to giving your annoying co-worker a swift kick between the gluts.

You certainly don’t need “keeping up with the latest news in PT” in your PT Panic List when you’re worrying about fees, homecare, requirements and whether the cute RT you were eying is single or not among other things.

Let me take care of that for you (the PT updates, not your love life).

The following are a bunch of accumulated updates from last month till now.

1. Have you heard of Pre-Hab?

  • Straight to the Point: One study had shown promise that primary hip or knee arthroplasty patients have 29% reduced use of post-acute services when they have participated in pre-operative Physical Therapy.
  • Why it made sense: Pre-op, the joint’s condition is already painful, weaker and stiffer and growing worse. The bleaker the condition, the more difficult and longer the joint takes to recover. Before going under the knife, why not pump it up?

You do realize I’m kidding you out of your internet stupor, right?

  • The Benefits: aside from lower healthcare costs due to decreased use of post-acute care services, improved strength and ROM, shorter recovery; prepare them mentally and physically for post-op rehab.
  • The Gist: since Pre-hab is generally limited to 1 to 2 sessions, the primary advantages of Pre-hab are gait training with assistive devices and patient empowerment (which could make all the difference) before they got knocked out by surgery la-la gas.

2. Improve balance with vibrator… shoes.

  • Straight to the Point: a study published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation shows improved balance simply by wearing shoes with vibratory stimulation insoles.
A Shoe Insole Delivering Subsensory Vibratory Noise Improves Balance and Gait in Healthy Elderly People

Piezoelectric actuators give vibratory stimulation to improve balance on hypesthetic feet.

  • Why it made Sense: the problem with diabetic neuropathy, stroke or simply old age is the decrease sensation in the feet. Stochantic Resonance (SR) states that low-level amplitudes can enhance signal detection.

         Remember the times you talk quietly that the other person shuts up and leans forward to hear you better?

        That’s the phenomenon behind SR.

  • The Benefits: improved balance, decrease fall risk and postural sway. Should I say more?
  • The Gist: in the recent design, piezoelectric actuators turn electric energy to mechanical (vibratory stimulation) in the insoles of the shoes to improve balance.

         Easy, right?

Cry ‘nosebleed!’ after all the trouble I wrote this and I will kill you.

3. Robot Prosthetics, How Close are We?

  • Straight to the Point: percutaneous osseointegrated (bone-anchored) prosthetics show promise to a more natural limb replacement.
  • Why it made Sense: unlike surface electrodes, electrodes implanted to the peripheral nerves and muscles are not hindered by electrical impulses of proximal joint movement (such as shrugging your shoulder and ending up dropping your beloved iPhone) or by something as frivolous as temperature. Furthermore, there is osseoperception -an increased sensory feedback due to direct force and vibration transmission  to the bone.
  • The Benefits: besides the ones mentioned above, direct bone attachment provides increased prosthetic stability and the percutaneous component (the part sticking out of the limb) serves as metallic bone extension for easy prosthetic attachment and detachment.
  • The Gist: a lot of limbs (prosthetic ones) will have to come and go before people would mistake one for a real one.  Prosthetics with permanent bidirectional (motor-sensory) interface is a significant step towards a more natural limb replacement. After a study of following the osseointegrated prosthetic patient above for more than a year, this may prove we’re closer to that goal.

AAaaaand that’s it for today! Three quickie updates before you get your ass thrown back into your hectic, I-haven’t-sleep-for-three-days-and-gawd-I-need-a-smoke existence that you’ll just complain and laugh off later with your bros.

AGMamalio, out!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s