Answered Questions: Monthly News for the Disability Community for April 2018

Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is: What topics are being researched in prosthetics and orthotics? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss patient-specific in-shoe orthoses; toe joint articulation in passive and powered prostheses; the differences in myoelectric and body-powered prostheses; the effect of orthotic rehabilitation; the design and development of transtibial prosthesis; the effectiveness of orthoses for people with hemiplegia; and the functional analysis of prosthesis in patients with partial foot amputation. More about Answered Questions.

NIDILRR-Funded Projects:

Researchers at the project Patient-Specific In-Shoe Orthoses for Knee OA Prescribed Using Weight Bearing MRI (English) (90IF0077) are studying how to refine the process for prescribing in-shoe footwear modifications for people with osteoarthritis using weight-bearing MRI technology developed under a previous NIDILRR-funded field-initiated project. In this two-phase project, researchers are investigating the immediate effect of incremental lateral in-shoe wedging and are conducting a short-term interventional trial to study the effect of patient-specific in-shoe wedging in comparison to the performance of a neutral orthotic.

Researchers at the project Toe Joint Articulation in Passive and Powered Prostheses for Enhancement of Walking and Long-Term Health (English) (90IFRE0001) are studying how to improve the design of prosthetic feet, specifically restoring biological toe function to aid people with limb loss as they navigate various slopes, uneven terrain, and daily obstacles. The project includes a study of toe joint stiffness in both passive and powered prosthetic feet to generate new data that characterize the functional role of the toes during various mobility activities.

From the NARIC Collection:

The article Differences in myoelectric and body-powered upper-limb prostheses: Systematic literature review (English) (J77398) discusses a systematic review that was conducted to determine the differences between myoelectric and body-powered upper limb prostheses to support evidence-based clinical practice in relation to the prescription of these devices and the training of users. The review found that the evidence is currently insufficient to conclude that either system provides a significant general advantage.

The article Effect of orthotic rehabilitation with isocentric reciprocating gait orthosis on functional ambulation in patients with spinal cord injury (English) (J76163) describes a study that provides evidence supporting the progression of walking speed and functional ambulation over 12 weeks of orthotic gait rehabilitation that uses an isocentric reciprocating gait orthosis (IRGO) in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The results of the study suggest that wearing IRGO associated with gait training can help people with thoracic-level SCI to walk faster.


About 3.26% of the Costa Rican population have mobility disabilities and require assistance from a mobility device or other technology to walk or climb stairs. Researchers at The design and development of transtibial prosthesis for people with low economic resources, Phase 1, from Tecnológico de Costa Rica, are studying the development of a transtibial prosthesis using 3D printing technologies. Researchers hope to offer a solution that allows the National Workshop of Orthotics and Prosthetics and the Costa Rican Social Security to serve a larger number of people with mobility disabilities through the use of customized products according to their functional needs and to offer a shortened response time.


The article The effectiveness of the use of orthoses in the recovery of the function of the spastic hand of an adult with hemiplegia: Systematic review, the final report from a study at the Autonomous University of Manizales in Colombia, evaluates the research on the effectiveness of the use of orthoses in the recovery of the function of the spastic hand of adults with hemiplegia. Researchers found that dynamic and light material orthoses can be recommended for the recovery of spastic hand function in adults with hemiplegia.


The article Protocol for the Functional Analysis of Prosthesis in Patients with Partial Foot Amputation from the Mexican Journal of Biomedical Engineering presents a technique that is capable of measuring the real deformation of prosthetic systems in people with amputations, under real conditions of load and posture. Researchers found that, by using the Digital Image Correlation technique, it is possible to observe how a prosthesis may be deformed or altered as the wearer steps or shifts their weight in real time, without needing to remove the prosthesis, placing it in simulation situations, or taking it apart.


  • AbleData (English) (NIDILRR-funded – US) – AbleData provides objective information on assistive technology and rehabilitation, including prosthesis and orthotics, available from domestic and international sources to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers in the US.

Further Research:




About Answered Questions

Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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