Integrating Orthotics and Rehabilitation to Improve Outcomes for Lower Extremity Trauma Patients

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Orthopedic surgeon and lower extremity specialist Dr. Kevin L. Kirk co-authored a study that was featured in the October 2014 issue of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, a publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons.

The study investigated whether integrating orthotics with a rehabilitation program would improve outcomes for patients suffering from significant disability following lower extremity trauma and sought to find out:

  • If an 8-week integrated program would improve pain, performance, and outcomes for these patients.
  • If the level of recovery differed for those undergoing the program more than or less than 2 years after their injury.
  • Whether the program would reduce the number of patients considering late stage amputation.

The study evaluated 84 service members who underwent 4 weeks of rehabilitation without an orthotic, followed by 4 weeks of rehabilitation with an orthotic. After 8 weeks, all subjects showed improvement in patient-reported measures as well as physical performance measures and patients improved similarly regardless of the length of time out from their injury. 41 out of 50 patients who were initially considering amputation had changed their minds by the end of the program. Read the full study.

KirkDr. Kevin L Kirk is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, fellowship trained in conditions of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 6 years and up for all orthopedic conditions, but has a special interest in conditions of the foot, ankle, and knee. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kirk, please call 210.281.9595. 

NOTE: We cannot provide medical advice or diagnoses without seeing a patient in person.

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