Read the latest news from the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about NUPOC and our recent achievements.

  • Stefania Fatone Participates in Inaugural DoD Review Panel

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to participate in CRMRP-OPORP Review PanelStefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to participate in the foundational Department of Defense (DoD) FY2014 Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP) - Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program (OPORP) Peer Review Panel Meeting held in Reston, VA. The DoD request for proposals challenged the scientific community to address the orthotic and prosthetic treatments and technologies that generate the best patient outcomes. The review panels were comprised of scientists, consumers, biostatisticians, human subject research and technology transfer specialists. The peer review process is designed to support transparency and comprehensive review of proposals seeking DoD funding for innovative and high-impact research.

  • NUPOC Welcomes Joel Scham

    Joel SchamJoel Scham will conduct research at NUPOC under the supervision of Matthew Major, PhD. To understand the interactions between prosthetic feet and different types of shoe, he will conduct biomechanical testing. He will collect, analyze, interpret, and, together with Dr. Major, publish these data.

    In summer 2015, Mr. Scham will complete his Bachelor’s degree in Sport Science with a Biomechanical Engineering focus (University of Konstanz, Germany). His graduation thesis treated a treadmill-based method that he developed to evaluate roll-over shape among able-bodied runners. His prior experience includes working on Biomechatronic Systems projects at Fraunhofer Institute (Stuttgart, Germany) under the direction of Florian Blab, MA, and Felix Starker, Dipl-Ing, the latter of whom was a Visiting Scholar at NUPOC. Mr. Scham’s projects focused on para-cycling and the roll-over shape associated with different running techniques. A licensed mountain bike trainer, in his leisure time, Mr. Scham is an avid bicyclist.

  • Dilatancy Research Team Publishes Technical Note

    From left, Larissa (Conner) Sletto, Chris Robinson, and Yeongchi Wu.A Technical Note by Larissa (Conner) Sletto, CO, Yeongchi Wu, MD, and Christopher Robinson, CPO, MBA, MS, ATC, FAAOP, “Dilatancy-based Impression and Fabrication Technique for Custom Foot Orthoses”, is published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International (March 11, 2015:1-5. See Prosthetics and Orthotics International Online First where this forthcoming article is published on line prior to print. Learn more about the research project, Development of a Low-Cost Dilatancy-Based System for Orthotic Fabrication.

  • Improving Prostheses for Agricultural Workers

    The NIDRR-funded research project, "Assessing and Responding to the Prosthetics Needs of Farmers and Ranchers", is featured in AgrAbility Harvest, 2015:6(1)2-3. The article, "Prosthetics and Agriculture: A Marriage of Necessity", examines the concerns of agricultural workers who use prostheses in their work lives. Derived from interviews with both farmers and prosthetists who serve them, important factors included prosthetic durability, cost, and device adaptability. Research findings showed concerns with cost, sweat and discomfort, insufficient grip force, the inconvenience of myoelectric devices when working in wet conditions, and risks to mobility, stability, and safety when walking over rough terrain. Recommendations for improving prosthetic devices for agricultural workers and others included simplicity, maintainability, durability and affordability.

  • NUPOC Announces Dudley S. Childress, PhD Endowment

    Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Fund for Research and EducationNUPOC is delighted to announce that the Childress Fund has reached the $100,000 level and Northwestern University will officially endow the Fund in perpetuity as the Dudley S. Childress, PhD Endowment for Research and Education.

    Through the generosity of Mrs. Childress, the Childress family, and many other donors, the Dudley S. Childress, PhD Endowment for Research and Education will extend Dudley Childress’ legacy by supporting an annual named program that actively and engagingly introduces Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) students to rehabilitation engineering.

    Dudley Childress, PhD, was a pioneer in biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering, making advances in prosthetic, orthotic, and assistive device technology.  His presentations about rehabilitation engineering for prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) inspired students to enter biomedical engineering as a career path. We look forward advancing Dr. Childress’ passion for inspiring and mentoring students through annual STEM programs, thereby expanding the role of engineering in medicine.

    NUPOC is deeply grateful to Mrs. Childress, the Childress family, and all donors to the Endowment. Future gifts in honor of Dudley Childress can be made to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Fund for Research and Education, thus increasing the value and efficacy of the Endowment.

  • Forthcoming Publication about Clinical Validity of Low Cost Accelerometers

    NUPOC announces the forthcoming publication by authors Matthew Major, PhD, Pooja Raghavan, MS, and Steven A. Gard, PhD, “Assessing a low-cost accelerometer-based technique to estimate spatial gait parameters of lower-limb prosthesis users”, in Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 2015 (in press). This study examines low-cost accelerometers to estimate step length and distance walked in lower-limb prosthesis users. The system may be a valid and clinically valuable method to characterize prosthetic gait.

  • NUPOC Well Represented at AAOP Annual Meeting

    NUPOC was well represented at the 2015 AAOP meetin.NUPOC was well represented at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) Annual Meeting held from February 18-21, 2015 in New Orleans, LA. Attendees were Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Steven A. Gard, PhD, Erin Boutwell, PhD, Christopher Robinson, CPO, MS, MBA, ATC, FAAOP, John Brinkmann, CPO, MA, and Michael Cavanagh, CPO. NUPOC authors and presentations included:

    Esposito ER, Fatone S, Wilken J, Caldwell R, Fergason J (2015) Sub-Ischial Prosthetic Sockets Improve Hip Range of Motion and Performance for Individuals with Transfemoral Amputations.

    Fatone S, McGovern D, Clancy T, Conaway P, Gaebler-Spira D (2015) Effect of Two Orthotic Approaches on Activity Level, Balance and Satisfaction in Children with Cerebral Palsy.

    Choi H, Steele K, Bjornson K, Fatone S (2015) Changes in Gastrocnemius Length with AFO-FC Tuning.

    Fatone S, Dillon M (2015) Invited presentation, Improving the Gait of Partial Foot Amputees: Emerging Evidence in Support of Above-Ankle Interventions.

    Boutwell E (2015) Influence of Longitudinal Prosthetic Stiffness Modification on Ground Reaction Forces during Transtibial Gait.

    Boutwell E (2015) Influence of Longitudinal Prosthetic Stiffness Modification on Impact Forces within the Transtibial Prosthesis.

    Nepomuceno A, Major M, Stine R, Gard S (2015) Effect of Ankle Immobilization on Able-Bodied Gait as a Model for Understanding Bilateral Transtibial Amputee Gait.

    Borrenpohl D, Major M (2015) A Survey-Based Investigation of the Role of Outcome Measures in the Assignment of Medicare Functional Classification Level for Persons with Lower Limb Amputation. Presented as part of the Lower Limb Prosthetic Society and Gait Society Forum.

    Dr. Gard is editor-in-chief of the AAOP’s Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics; Dr. Fatone is a member of the Clinical Content Committee that helps organize the annual conference; Mr. Robinson is co-chair of the AAOP Online Education Committee; and Mr. Brinkmann is a member of the AAOP Board and immediate past chair of the Scientific Liaison Committee for the AAOP Gait Society.

  • NUPOC Authors Publish Study on Orthotic Management of the Neuropathic Foot

    Christopher Robinson, Matthew Major, et al. are authors of “Orthotic Management of the Neuropathic Foot: An Interdisciplinary Care Perspective” published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 2015:39(1)73-81. Their article offers a literature review with clinical case studies that elaborate pathologies associated with orthotic management of the neuropathic foot, including ulceration, infection, and Charcot joint arthropathy. To prevent subsequent complications and amputation, authors conclude that clinical care and management of the neuropathic foot should be interdisciplinary, with attention to multiple treatment options. Read the article here:

  • NUPOC-International Service Volunteers Ready for Guatemala

    The NUPOC-IS 2015 team will provide P&O clinical care in Guatemala.

    NUPOC International Service (NUPOC-IS) volunteers Dylan Borrenpohl, Rae Figueroa, Dan Hallisy, Haris Kafedzic, Brittany Mott, Nicole Olson, Brodie Rice, Jennie Rhodes, Devin Schlueter, Nicholas Uhler, and Kathleen White will provide P&O services to under-served Guatemalans from February 7 through 15 in Zacapa, Guatemala. The 2015 NUPOC-IS team are members of the MPO 2015 cohort who are enrolled in P&O residency training programs. Roberto Lopez-Rosado, DPT, will accompany the team and contribute expertise in physical therapy. Robert Lipschutz, CPO, is the 2015 NUPOC-IS team leader. Volunteers must fund their own transportation and living costs.

    Developed and managed by Melinda Thorpe, CO, the NUPOC-IS program collaborates with the Range of Motion Project-Chicago (ROMP) so volunteers can offer their expertise at ROMP’s Kevin O’Halloran Rehabilitation Clinic in Guatemala. Launched in 2009, this collaborative service project formally operates with ROMP under a Northwestern University Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

    Working under the supervision of Robert Lipschutz, CPO, and with ROMP technicians, the NUPOC team will provide P&O clinical services in a stimulating, international setting. Their clients will be low-income Guatemalan adults and children, many of whom travel great distance to receive their first P&O treatment at the ROMP clinic. The NUPOC team will measure and fit assistive devices that enable mobility and independence for their Guatemalan clients. Mr. Lipschutz has volunteered his skills through NUPOC-IS for several years and said, “For me, the greatest reward is seeing the immediate and life-changing empowerment that we can give to the under-resourced Guatemalans who have a physical disability.”

  • NUPOC Authors Publish Study on TFA and Coronal Plane Socket Stability

    Stefania Fatone, Michael Dillon, Rebecca Stine, and Robert Tillges are authors of “Coronal Plane Socket Stability during Gait in Persons with Transfemoral Amputation: Pilot Study” published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 2014:51(8)1217-1228. Their article examines design fea­tures of the transfemoral socket with respect to tissue loading and socket comfort; and changes in stability between the socket and residual limb in the coronal plane during walking. Read the article here:

    Dr. Dillon has been Visiting Scholar at NUPOC and is a long-standing research collaborator. Mr. Tillges is a research collaborator on the NIDRR-funded project, Pilot Study of the Effect of Socket Characteristics on Coronal Plane Stability during Gait of Persons with Unilateral Transfemoral Amputation. Learn more about this project and Mr. Tillges’ contributions in Capabilities 2013:21(1).

Childress Honored at Memorial Service

Approximately 200 friends, colleagues and family members attended the September 20, 2014 memorial service held in honor of Dudley Childress. Links to the transcribed version of eulogies and retrospectives that were presented at the memorial service are available. Links to the MP3 audio files of the entire memorial service are available. Links to the essays written by former students and colleagues on the occasion of the "Festschrift in Honor of Dudley S. Childress, PhD©" (2006) are also available.

The Childress Fund

The Childress Fund has been established with a generous gift from the Childress family to help carry forward Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for prosthetics-orthotics. Ultimately, the Fund will benefit all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. With your support, the Childress Fund can be endowed in perpetuity. We invite you to be part of this effort by giving generously to the Childress Fund.

NUPOC Offers Free Webinar

Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), present a free online webinar, "Subischial Socket with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation", hosted by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.