Page 28 - Bauerfeind life magazine

magazine 2013/1
The Shepherd Center
The Shepherd Center is a free-standing
rehabilitation hospital that serves
patients with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI),
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), Multiple
Sclerosis (MS), and other neurological
The center treats approximately 1,727
patients a year (382 inpatients, 1,345
outpatients) with an average stay in the
facility of 49 days. The mean age of their
patients is 37.6 years; 83 percent are
male, and 17 percent are female.
For further information please visit:
Shepherd Center, Atlanta
Innovative use of MalleoLoc
helps patients rehab
from Spinal Cord Injuries
Rehabilitation is essential for those with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI); but it’s not just the spine
that needs proper support during recovery, it’s also the ankles. Joy A. Bruce (MSPT, PhD, NCS),
full-time research scientist and manager of the Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory (SCIL) at
Shepherd Center in Atlanta, discovered that MalleoLoc provided additional support to the
ankles and allowed patients to progress faster during the rehabilitative process. Her interview
provides details on this innovative approach.
Pictures: Sherri Innis Photography
How long has Shepherd Center been
using MalleoLoc?
Joy A. Bruce:
I introduced it in outpatient
treatment in 2000.
How did you learn about the stabilizing
Joy A. Bruce:
When I was in college I
played soccer and rugby and had multiple
inversion sprains. Others on my team were
using the product so I tried it. It worked
well to help control foot and ankle position­
ing and prevent roll-over sprains.
How did Shepherd Center discover
this product?
Joy A. Bruce:
I brought in a MalleoLoc
I had, and then I had the department
purchase the devices. I wanted to be able
to train people at higher levels without
sacrificing mobility or safety.
Given that you had been using MalleoLoc
for patients with impairments to their feet
and ankles, when did you start using the
product as part of your treatment protocol
for patients with SCI?
Joy A. Bruce:
The first patient I used it with
was a young man with a very incomplete
SCI. He wanted to return to running and
playing tennis. He had lingering strength
and proprioceptive impairments. He was at
high risk of inversion sprains. I used the
device with him during training including
running and plyometrics. It was very suc­
cessful in protecting him and positioning
him during these activities.
How has using MalleoLoc affected SCI patient
Joy A. Bruce:
These patients are particularly
susceptible to catching their toes or rolling
into inversion. The MalleoLoc allows us to
minimally limit the degrees of freedom at
the ankle while still providing bio­mechanical
support. Providing flexible control of the
ankle enables us to focus on overall move­
ment patterns and control of proximal
segments while advancing activity. It also
allows us to challenge our patients more
readily to perform faster walking/running on
varied surfaces and under varied conditions.
How often is the stabilizing orthosis
used as part of the treatment protocol?
Joy A. Bruce:
Stabilizing orthoses are used
consistently with patients who are working
on high-level locomotor and balance activi­
ties. These devices are used multiple times
per week by multiple patients.
How does MalleoLoc compare to other
devices on the market?
Joy A. Bruce:
The advantage over other
lace-up devices is weight, malleability,
cleanability, and ease of use with the straps.
The device wasn’t cost-prohibitive, didn’t
require a prescription, and could be modi­
fied/customized using a heat gun.
What kind of modifications do you make?
Joy A. Bruce:
Portions of the MalleoLoc are
made of molded plastic. If we find a place
that rubs the patient, we heat the plastic
and mold it to fit their skeleton. It’s rare