Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center


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.

  • 10/19/2018

    NUPOC students interviewed at NUPOC with representatives from NCOPE-accredited residency programsExcellent training is only part of the preparation necessary to become a professional prosthetist-orthotist. On October 18 and 19, MPO students interviewed at NUPOC with representatives from National Commission on Orthotic & Prosthetic Education- (NCOP) accredited Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) residency programs located nationwide. Successful completion of a P&O residency is required before taking the American Board of Certification national examination. More than just an essential step toward certification, the residency often becomes a CPO’s first employer.

    Students interviewed at NUPOC for residencies at Hanger Clinics, the largest P&O corporation worldwide with more than 2,000 P&O clinicians located in 800 clinics throughout the USA. Students also had the opportunity to interview for residencies at American Prosthetics & Orthotics (Iowa), Bionic (Illinois and Indiana), Bulow Prosthetics (Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee), Evergreen Prosthetics (Oregon), Hyde Prosthetics & Orthotics (Georgia), Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (Michigan), University of Michigan and others. NUPOC students remarked that on-site Career Days streamlines the opportunity to meet and interview residency directors and is a substantial time / cost savings.

       NUPOC students interviewed at NUPOC with representatives from NCOPE-accredited residency programs  NUPOC students interviewed for NCOPE-accredited residencies

    NUPOC professionalism mentors J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CPO, CRC, and Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, ensure that MPO students are well-prepared for residency interviews, leading a multi-stage process designed to produce equally desirable outcomes for both residents and supervising P&O facilities. Students attend a résumé-building seminar that integrates P&O specific needs with the Northwestern University Career Advancement resources. After polishing their résumés, students submit documents to residency representatives who interview candidates at NUPOC over an intensive two days.

    NUPOC students interview for NCOPE-accredited residencyStudents practiced their presentation skills in mock interviews conducted by former NUPOC graduates Joey Zisk (MPO 2017), Landon Davis (MPO 2017), Renato Delos Reyes (MPO 2016) and Diana Pressney (MPO 2016). Mock interviewers allocated 20 minutes to administer typical questions and 10 minutes to discuss each student’s performance. Simulation interviews probed students’ role models, goals for improving the P&O profession, and extramural experiences that helped shape their choice of P&O as a career choice.

    Charlotte Cornell and Beth Petrovic, both students in the MPO class of 2019, spearheaded and managed the Career Days activities and interview schedule. Ms. Petrovic said, “Joey Zisk conducted my practice interview. It was a good experience and I think the opportunity helped me prepare for the actual interviews.”

    Christopher Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, ATC, FAAOP(D), formalized the Professionalism in P&O program for the inaugural MPO class of 2015. Since then, this supportive training program has continued to grow, improving students’ personal confidence and professional skills, while helping to ensure optimum residency placements. To date, one hundred percent of NUPOC MPO graduates have obtained placements at the NCOPE-accredited residency sites. 

  • NUPOC Graduate Selected for OPERF Travel Award

    Diana Pressney, NUPOC MPO 2016.Diana Pressney, CO, MPO, a graduate of the NUPOC MPO class of 2016, received the 2018 Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF)/American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) Resident Travel Award.

    OPERF's clinical and scientific reviewers selected her residency project, Effect of Virtual Reality Immersion on Phantom Limb Pain and Phantom Limb Sensation. The award is a $2,500 cash prize that enables her to present her research at the Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists in Orlando, FL, in March 2019.

  • Stefania Fatone Keynote Speaker at Australian P&O Association Congress

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was the keynote speaker at the Australian Orthotic-Prosthetic Association (AOPA) 2018   Stefania Fatone and Paul Prusakowski

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was the keynote speaker at the Australian Orthotic-Prosthetic Association (AOPA) 2018 Congress. This year’s conference theme examined the benefits of embracing the past and designing the future of P&O. At the request of conference organizers, Dr. Fatone incorporated these themes in her presentation, What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and What We Want to Know.

    Dr. Fatone speaking at P&O future leaders’ event, Australia

    Dr. Fatone also presented a free paper, Evaluation of the NU-FlexSIV Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation, which received the Guild Best Presentation Award. 

    Prior to the conference, Dr. Fatone spoke at a P&O future leaders’ event where she shared thoughts about her career in P&O.

    Attended by 375 delegates from throughout Australia and New Zealand, the AOPA Congress convened on October 4 through 6, south of Brisbane on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

  • NUPOC Posters at 2018 AOPA National Assembly

    Hannah Williams presenting poster at AOPA 2018The 2018 American Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) National Assembly was held September 26-29 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where NUPOC personnel presented posters.  

    Comparison of Direct Control vs Morph for Myoelectric Multi-Articulated Hands with Abstract Object Manipulation: A Pilot Study, by Megan Hodgson and Tiffany Ryan, reviews control strategies to switch between grip patterns in multi-articulated hands; and examines the morph device that can improve consistency of control and reduce the physical burden of controlling the prosthesis with EMG. 

    > Characteristics of Effective Motivational Interviewing Training in Healthcare, by Hannah Howington and John Brinkmann, extrapolated from a systematic review of motivational interviewing training strategies for healthcare practitioners and concluded that improvements in communication and motivational skills may improve prosthetic-orthotic care.

    Healthcare Accessibility in the United States: Barriers and Risk Factors Impacting Care, by Abbey Senczyszyn. 

  • Fatone and Caldwell Teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course in Netherlands

    NU-FlexSIV Socket Training Course, Heckert and van Lierop, the Netherlands   Ryan Caldwell, CP, at Heckert and van Lierop   NU-FlexSIV Socket Course, Heckert and van Lierop, the Netherlands

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons) and Ryan Caldwell, CP, were invited by Heckert and van Lierop (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) to teach the NU-FlexSIV Socket course. Four unilateral transfemoral amputees and twelve prosthetists from clinical facilities throughout the Netherlands attended the two-day training session. Prosthetists successfully fabricated and fit the sockets and each of the participating individuals with amputation took the check socket with them to wear at home.

    Prosthetists are eager to learn and patients with transfemoral amputation are eager to wear the NU-FlexSIV Socket. The NU-FlexSIV Socket training courses are in high demand throughout the USA and abroad. Courses already are scheduled at Scheck & Siress (Chicago) in November 2018; Össur Academy (Orlando) in November 2018; and Kobe College of Medical Welfare, (Sanda, Japan) in January 2019.

  • Steven A. Gard Speaks at Marquette University

    Steven A. Gard, PhDSteven A. Gard, PhD, was invited to speak to researchers at the Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Engineering Center (OREC), Marquette University, where he presented, Do Persons with Transtibial Amputations Require Prosthetic Shock Absorbing Components during Gait? Dr. Gard discussed several research studies about shock absorption in amputee gait that are being conducted by investigators at NUPOC.

    Dr. Gard addressed issues of prosthetic compliance and compared biological to lower limb prosthetic shock absorption. “Shock forces are normally attenuated through the combined influence of the heel pad, stance-knee flexion, hip flexion, pelvic obliquity and ankle plantarflexion. However, transtibial prosthesis users have diminished ability to take advantage of these features during walking, which requires either compensatory actions or specialized prosthetic components. As a result, lower limb prosthesis users often notice the jarring impact that occurs with each step on their prosthesis, particularly when walking down stairs or stepping off of a curb.”

    Gerald Harris, PhD, PE, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Engineering Center (OREC), and Co-Director for the Center for Motion Analysis (CMA) at Medical College of Wisconsin, invited Dr. Gard to speak.

  • Stefania Fatone Invited Speaker at Nordiske Bandagist Kongres

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to present two lectures at the Nordiske Bandagist Kongres held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on September 6-8, 2018.

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, speaking at 2018 Nordiske Bandagist KongresDr. Fatone presented The NU-FlexSIV Socket: Development, Research and Dissemination. Dr. Fatone noted that research on the NU-FlexSIV technique began in 2009, was first taught to prosthetists in 2015, and many countries began to use it clinically. The NU-FlexSIV Socket is secured to the residual limb by vacuum pump suction and modifications to the technique allow for a passive suction version of the socket. She reported that persons with transfemoral amputation describe it as comfortable due to lower proximal trim lines that do not impinge on the pelvis and flexibility that allows muscles to contract during activity and splay when sitting. Ongoing research and development efforts include a clinical trial that compares comfort and functional performance in the NU-FlexSIV Socket and the Ischial Containment Socket.

    Dr. Fatone also presented Informing Decisions about Dysvascular Partial Foot Amputation Using a Shared Decision-Making Approach. Dr. Fatone and co-researchers conducted two systematic reviews that formed the basis for developing shared decision-making (SDM) resources for persons facing dysvascular partial foot amputation (PFA). She described the development of SDM resources and noted that interviews with persons facing PFA due to dysvacular disease demonstrate that they are poorly informed. SDM is a collaborative process designed to present different treatment options, likely outcomes and risks, thus informing and enabling patients to take an active role in their health care decisions. 

  • NUPOC Gallery Features Abstracts by Ju-Sung Kim

     Abstracts by Ju-Sung Kim are at the NUPOC Gallery

    Artist Ju-Sung Kim opens exhibit at NUPOCAt NUPOC, science, technology, and art intersect. In recognition of the artistry that is vital to prosthetics and orthotics, NUPOC is delighted to announce the installation and exhibition of acrylic abstracts by Ju-Sung Kim.

    Ju-Sung Kim’s work focuses on consciousness, which has neither a fixed form nor color. The abstractions depicted in his work express the inner world of self and consciousness. The painter reflects on himself, seeking the true nature of the self. In Buddhist conceptualization, Mr. Kim’s works represent the process of searching for the ‘true, authentic self’ (眞 我).

    Self-reflective, the paintings represent intertwined experiences and the interactions of the self with others. His work chronicles his life. His works express the challenges he experienced as an immigrant to the USA; joy, grief, and longing for homeland; search for identity, and the agony of chronic disease that threatened him with death.

    Ju-Sung Kim has a 40-year career as an artist and has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibits from coast-to-coast, including California, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C.; and internationally in Toronto, Canada and throughout the Republic of Korea.

    Artists and Certified Prosthetist-Orthotists (CPO) cultivate similar skills. An axiom holds that a good prosthetist-orthotist needs the triad of “head, heart, and hands”. Superior cognitive ability, compassion, and hand skills enable CPOs to serve their patients well. As scientists and clinicians, CPOs are rigorously trained in human anatomy, biomechanics, behavioral sciences, professional issues, practice management, and independent research. They also employ creative artistry that bridges science and technology to fit and fabricate functional, comfortable, wearable prostheses and orthoses.

    NUPOC appreciates Ju-Sung Kim for making this exhibit possible.

  • NUPOC Contributes to Midwest Chapter AAOP Meeting

    The Midwest Chapter AAOP (MWCAAOP) annual conference will meet on September 13 through 15 at Lake Geneva, WI. President and Treasurer Michael Cavanaugh will welcome the participants and open the general sessions. Other MWCAAOP officers from NUPOC are Directors Ryan Caldwell and Chad Duncan; and Immediate Past President John Brinkmann.

    NUPOC presentations at the Midwest Chapter AAOP (MWCAAOP) by alphabetical by author’s surname are:

    >John Brinkmann, Teaching Professionalism and Ethics during Residency; and Adherence among Users of Orthoses 
    >Chad Duncan and Mike Hoggatt, Patient Satisfaction, So What? 
    >Matthew J. Major, PhD, Sensorimotor and Biomechanical Factors of Older Adults with and without Lower Limb Loss: Implications to Gait and Balance 
    >Julia Quinlan, PhD, Tensile and Coefficient of Friction Testing of Textured Prosthetic Socket Specimens 
    >Chris Robinson, NCOPE Update
  • David Foord, LLB, PhD, Visits NUPOC

    David Foord, LLB, PhD David Foord, LLB, PhD, assistant professor, Engineering Faculty, University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, Canada), focusses on the history of science and technology and innovation studies. He visited NUPOC to conduct research for a book about the history of myoelectric upper limbs. 

    He interviewed Steven A. Gard, PhD, John W. Michael, MEd, CPO, and R. J. Garrick, PhD, about the research and development of UE myoelectric control that was conducted at the Northwestern University Rehabilitation Engineering Center by Dudley S. Childress, PhD, and his research team. He also reviewed original materials in the Childress Collection held in the Northwestern University Archives (Evanston).

    During the 1970s, the Rehabilitation Service Administration of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Veterans Administration funded research in myoelectric control at twelve Rehabilitation Engineering Centers located throughout the USA. Professor Dudley Childress, PhD, and Clinton Compere, MD, chief of orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University, were leaders in the field.  

    Dr. Foord earned his doctorate in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (Interdisciplinary Studies) for which he wrote the dissertation, Making Hands: A History of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation in the Development of Myoelectric Upper Limb Prostheses, 1945-2010 (2013). He also is an attorney who has more than 20 years’ experience in contract drafting, technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation management for university and private sectors. 

The Childress Fund

Established with a generous gift from the Childress family, the Childress Fund accepts donations that help to continue Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for Prosthetics-Orthotics.

The Childress Fund benefits all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. We invite you to be part of this ongoing effort by giving generously to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Research and Education Fund.