Do you have a biomechanics phobia? Many of us do and until recently I did not know there was a cure.
I attended an elegant little meeting last month in Florida that surprised me. I intended to take home ready-to-use ideas about wound care especially and I did. Surprisingly though, I ended up attending most of the biomechanics sessions and bragging to friends about everything that I had learned. You see, I am no biomechanical guru. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The subject usually gives me psychological hives although I have long advocated the importance of biomechanics.
I became excited about the subject at the recent American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine (ACFAOM) Clinical Conference. The speakers took the physics off the page and away from the goniometer, and into the hands of people like the big, enthusiastic, motorcycle-riding Mark Reeves, DPM. His equally excited compatriots — Larry Huppin, DPM, Doug Richie Jr., DPM, and Paul Scherer, DPM — gave the audience news that they could use, which was probably why the audience grew throughout the day rather than dwindled. That is something I have not experienced at many meetings.
A friend who arrived to the meeting late that evening, hearing of my surprise about the biomechanics section, asked me to give her one thing I had learned. I gave her two things I learned.
1. If you are still casting orthotics with plaster, you are doing it the really hard way. There are now free standing scanners that are fast, effective and accurate. They allow you to position the foot in a neutral position and recapture your costs quickly. Another important factor is that the labs affiliated with the technology are sufficient enough to handle a significant amount of business as the technology becomes more popular.
2. If you have long distance runners in your practice, you have probably been frustrated with the treatment of shin splints. One physician demonstrated a method of injecting Marcaine and cortisone below the fascia of patients who experienced performance limiting shin splits. You would perform the injection about two weeks prior to the runner’s next performance, allowing him or her to literally get back into the race.
As a disclaimer, I am an officer of ACFAOM and presented at this conference myself. As anyone who knows me is aware, I have always had a fear of biomechanics. For a group of lecturers to make this difficult subject not only understandable but fun — well, that is truly an achievement.
Kudos to all of the lecturers in that track.