7/14/2011 6:19 AM
My business partner was trained at one of the top surgical residency programs in the country and did not have much experience with orthotic therapy during his residency. He is an exceptional surgeon, but feels strongly that if a more conservative option will allow the patient to reach their goals then, surgery should be a last resort. This tendency toward more conservative treatment whenever possible is a trait that tends to be found in the best and most experienced surgeons. Increasing orthotic therapy skills allows these good surgeons to provide their patients with better care. In the last five years, he has taken a much greater interest in orthotic therapy. He now takes a more evidence-based approach to his orthotic therapy and he is finding that he has much better clinical outcomes. He also has become more adept at adjusting orthotic devices.
With no other change in the practice as far as time in the office or number of patients seen, he has tripled the number of orthoses to between 35 and 45 pairs per month. During that same period his average number of surgeries per month decreased. However, he finds that his surgical patients are doing better by incorporating orthotics. For example, patients who are S/P bunion surgery and who receive an orthosis that is prescribed specifically to enhance first MPJ motion tend to have less pain post-op and greater first MPJ range of motion.
This is a story that we hear at ProLab over and over again. Those clients who focus on providing evidenced-based orthotic therapy, take excellent negative casts, and use a lab like ProLab that provides very accurate cast work, find that the improved clinical outcomes with orthoses increases so much that the need for surgery decreases and the post-op course of surgical patients improves.
One of our primary goals at ProLab is to help our clients to become orthotic experts. If you are a ProLab client and wish to learn how to improve your orthotic expertise, please contact one of our medical consultants.