This course is designed for the practitioner who has experience in working with children or adults with CNS neuromotor dysfunction, including physical therapists, orthotists, pediatric orthopedists, and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. The content covered in this program includes the following topics:
- Foot and ankle anatomy, biomechanics, development, and pathomechanics in relation to body weight orientation over the base of support and to designing orthotic modifications to optimize foot development and function.
- Characteristics of and factors contributing to healthy foot development.
- Elements of gait development that relate to and support foot development.
- The kinesiology and pathokinesiology related to – and in support of – the safe and effective use of below-knee casts and orthotic interventions designed to improve postural alignment and control and to reduce developmental, flexible foot and ankle deformities that commonly occur in the presence of central nervous system dysfunction, hypotonia, and ligament laxity in childhood. Discussion of orthotic options includes Elaine Owen’s Tuned AFO/Footwear Combinations, heel lifting and weight-line training, and orthotic posting and foot packaging principles and strategies.
Common developmental foot deformities are identified and described in terms of plane-based anatomical components. Musculoskeletal assessment procedures are reviewed as the findings lead the clinician to a systematic clinical decision-making process regarding orthotic design in terms of desired load-bearing foot and limb joint alignment, magnitude of segment enclosure, degrees of freedom provided or restrained, and posting options. Soft-tissue extensibility findings are also used in the documentation of the effects of assorted orthotic intervention strategies.