The New Normal

The New Normal

It’s great to see so many people on social media giving thanks on Veterans Day for the service and sacrifice of strangers and loved ones who served in the military for our protection.  And while those accolades are important, it’s also critical that we make sure these brave men and women have access to state-of-the-art technology and treatment to ensure they are reaching the highest level of function possible. Veterans with traumatic limb loss are learning what it means to return to their work and home lives following an amputation. But they aren’t altering their life goals or downgrading their plans – rather, they are relying on state-of-the-art technology and advancements in patient care to help them reach optimal clinical outcomes, whether it’s running again or attending to activities of daily living. They are veterans like Travis Mills, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant and one of five Afghanistan war veterans to survive a quadruple amputation. There’s many words to describe him, but one of the most powerful ones is runner. Fitted with specially made running blades, Mills can now run more 1 1/2 miles. He plans to do a 5K. In a story for Runner’s World, he describes his first experience on the blades this way:  “I was so excited to get running, I broke one in half one of the first times I put them on. I drove two hours that same day to get it replaced. I wanted to keep at it.” Mills is an example of a veteran seeking the highest level of function possible – a goal that should be the norm for all people with limb loss. It’s this “new normal” that offers...
BADER’s Kenton Kaufman recognized, again!

BADER’s Kenton Kaufman recognized, again!

*** The BADER Consortium’s scientific cores director, Kenton Kaufman, Ph.D., was recently honored with the 2014 Research Award at the 40th Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP). Here is a bit more info from the Mayo Clinic, where Kaufman is based: The award is intended to recognize members performing the most outstanding research in the field of orthotics and prosthetics. The research must have been documented and published or presented as a part of an Academy-sponsored scientific education program within the previous three years. About Dr. Kaufman Kenton Kaufman, Ph.D., joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in Rochester in 1996. He is a Consultant in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery with a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering. He holds the academic rank of Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Kaufman is the Director of the Biomechanics-Motion Analysis Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and he is recognized with the distinction of a named professorship, the W. Hall Wendel, Jr., Musculoskeletal Research Professorship. Dr. Kaufman is also a registered professional engineer. Dr. Kaufman’s research focus is on the biomechanics of human movement. He currently holds several grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense for projects aimed at improving the mobility of disabled individuals.  Dr. Kaufman has worked over the past two decades to advance both prosthetic and orthotic care. He is the co-inventor of the SensorWalk, a stance-control orthosis on the commercial market. He has also conducted research on microprocessor-controlled knees and provided testimony to the insurance industry, which resulted in reimbursement for...