presented by John Fergason
Your physical therapy sessions are valuable and often limited, therefore it is of utmost importance to recognize when a prosthetic problem is within your scope to correct or must be given attention by the prosthetist. This course will give you the tools needed to evaluate some of the most common pitfalls to physical therapy progression and either correct them when able or relay accurate information to the prosthetist for correction.
John Fergason, CPO, is the Chief Prosthetist at the Center for the Intrepid at San Antonio Military Medical Center. He was formerly an Instructor and Clinical Manager for the Prosthetics-Orthotics Program at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX and proceeded to become the Director of the Division of Prosthetics-Orthotics at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He currently is adjunct faculty for the Baylor Prosthetics-Orthotics Program and the UT Southwestern Prosthetics-Orthotics Program. He has lectured extensively on all topics in lower limb prosthetics, has many peer-reviewed articles and has authored multiple book chapters. While at Brooke Army Medical Center, he has developed the services from a small laboratory serving the local needs of the hospital to an international Center aimed at improving function for service members who have sustained catastrophic limb injury. His staff continues to treat the most complex patients seen as a result of battlefield injury and has become established as one of the primary military centers for limb loss.
Review of the prosthesis begins in the static standing portion of your treatment before ambulation. The presence of the following problems must be addressed prior to continuing into your gait training progression. Use of these evaluation tools will ensure your physical therapy session will be off to a good start.
It can be difficult to discern when a deviation in gait has a root cause in the prosthesis, the method of donning, or patient education and training. While many deviations can be corrected by adjusting the prosthesis, often this is neither correct nor necessary. This section will help you recognize and problem solve several of the more common deviations seen early in physical therapy training with the transfemoral prosthesis.
Many limiting issues can be worked through by accommodation or correction during your gait training sessions. There are, however, several conditions that may develop while training that require reduction or complete elimination of weight bearing activity until they can be properly addressed.