Meet the Clinical Research Core

Laughter and a whole lot of chocolate keep things going in the Clinical Research Core at BADER Consortium. At least, that’s what CRC team members say, and they should know: they have an important job to do. The CRC supports orthopaedic research at each of the military and civilian treatment facilities affiliated with the BADER Consortium, with the goal of moving Consortium research forward amidst multiple agendas. In the few years since the small team has been working together from respective sites across the country, its members have become like family, despite and because of these challenges. “I think all of us were thrown into these very different but very similar environments and I think we all empathized and leaned on each other,” said Danielle Faulkner, protocol and data management coordinator at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. “We all essentially had to start from scratch and we all came from a common place so we relate to each other.” When a member of Faulkner’s immediate family took ill, the team supported her, she said, sending her chocolate (of course) and letting her know they were there for her. At the start, each member of the CRC had to define their role in BADER Consortium research at their respective sites and create a collective identity in providing infrastructure support. They combined their individual expertise and experiences to begin moving toward common goals. “I think of us as the heartbeat of the Consortium,” said CRC manager, Suzanne Milbourne, based at the University of Delaware, which employs each team member. “Some have said the CRC is the boots on the ground.” From the...
University of Delaware student organization supports careers in O&P

University of Delaware student organization supports careers in O&P

More than ever before, a career in orthotics and prosthetics represents the intersection of art, science and healthcare. Technological  advances and design improvements are changing the lives of people with limb loss and limb differences. Prosthetic knees with micro-processors help users achieve a more normal walking pattern. Orthotic braces fashioned with lighter materials and equipped with Bluetooth technology improve limb control. At the same time, users want a prosthesis that adapts to their own lives and represents their unique personality. Members of the University of Delaware’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Club have a front-row seat to glimpse the changes underway in this growing industry. The registered student organization is still in its beginning stages after being formed earlier this year, but already its 20 members have heard from local prosthetists about the field and what kind of opportunities are possible. Students come from varying majors, including biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, speech pathology, nursing and exercise science – an indication of the diversity of interest in the field. It’s a good place to be, considering that nationally there’s a dearth of health professionals in O&P, a shortage expected to grow in coming years, given the emerging technology and the rising numbers of amputees, senior citizens and people with musculoskeletal disorders. “We’re hoping our club can help people be aware about what the field entails. Since it’s a growing field, more people the better,” said Amira Idris, a biomedical engineering major and vice president of the O&P club. Idris and Bretta Fylstra, also a biomedical engineering major, started the club after attending an interest meeting held by Dr. Steven Stanhope, director of...
What BADER does

What BADER does

We’ve already told you about the history of BADER Consortium, including the way the name plays off the heroism of Sir Douglas Bader, a Royal Air Force fighter who lost both legs in a plane crash. He not only continued to fly during World War II, he shot down 22 German planes before being taken as a prisoner of war. Now we’re going to share how BADER Consortium – which stands for Bridging Advanced Developments for Exceptional Rehabilitation – aims to help today’s wounded military not only recover from their limb injuries but live a life as full as possible. That means making sure injured and recovering warriors are not just getting around with their prostheses, but finding their optimal level of function, whether that’s returning to active duty, running or competing against other athletes with limb loss. The goal of BADER – funded through a five-year, $19.7 million medical research grant from the Department of Defense – is to continue the advancements in the treatment of military amputees and create a culture of research in musculoskeletal trauma and limb loss across the the participating institutions. To do that, BADER works with four military treatment facilities to strengthen evidence-based orthopedic rehabilitation care. They are: San Antonio Military Medical Center/Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Tex.; Naval Medical Center San Diego in California; Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. In addition, BADER is partnering with six clinical rehabilitation sites: Spaulding National Running Center in Cambridge, Mass.; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn; the University of Delaware; the University of Texas...
New fitness app available for lower limb prosthesis users

New fitness app available for lower limb prosthesis users

Getting the appropriate prosthesis is critical to help patients with a lower limb amputation improve their outcomes and return to an active lifestyle. But just as important is whether the user can make the most of what the prosthesis is able to do. Even when given instruction by a trained therapist, it can be hard to duplicate the activity independently. But a smartphone app created by prosthetics manufacturer Ottobock aims to help leg amputees improve their strength and mobility. Although it was developed by Ottobock, the exercise programs do not require specialized equipment and are not tied to a specific manufacturer. Otto Bock Healthcare is one of several industrial collaborators with BADER Consortium. Within the app there are 16 exercises separated into two different programs. One focuses on strength and endurance, demonstrating exercises that focus on the legs, stomach, back and arms while the user is not wearing the prosthesis. The second program emphasizes balance and coordination while wearing the prosthesis. Here, the exercises focus on simple sequences of movement to help users stand confidently and exert better control over their prostheses in their activities of daily living, whether that’s at work, at home or on the go. And there are three progessive levels of difficulty so you don’t have to worry about not being able to complete some of the tasks. The first level is intended for those who recently received a prosthesis while the third level is intended for use by those confident in using their prostheses. The app is available for iPad and iPhone users for free here or by visiting  iTunes by searching “Fitness for...