USF PT Jason Highsmith to deliver keynote lecture at international meeting on prosthetics

M. Jason Highsmith, DPT, assistant professor of the USF School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, has been invited to deliver the Brian Blatchford lecture at the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Prosthetists and Orthotists (ISPO). The meeting is in London, England, in October.

Dr. Jason Highsmith

Dr. Highsmith’s presentation will be based on a literature review he and a team of investigators published in 2010 in the journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International to determine efficacy of the Otto Bock C-Leg prosthetic knee for persons with transfemoral amputation.

The review looked at component efficacy in three key areas; safety/falls, bioenergetic efficiency and healthcare cost. Ultimately, they determined that the C-Leg is more costly but worth funding as it provides a considerable increase in safety as measured with many different metrics. They further indicated that the C-Leg is becoming the current standard of care for persons with transfemoral amputation who ambulate at variable speed within the community. Dr. Highsmith and USF investigators Jason Kahle, CPO, Dr. Larry Mengelkoch, Dr. William Quillen, Dr. Stephanie Carey and VA collaborators Dr’s Shirley Groer and Bryce Sutton have conducted research in this area that contributed to the literature review.

The USF team prepares a subject for motion analysis of ambulatory tasks. Left to right: Matt Wernke, amputee volunteer, Dr. Jason Highsmith, Derek Lura, Jason Kahle.

“Dr Highsmith has pursued rehabilitative techniques and component options to maximize function of leg amputees regardless of their physical capacity,” said William Quillen, DPT, PhD, professor and director of USF’s School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences.

“This work is but one example of the numerous amputee rehabilitation investigations undertaken here at USF and it is policy changing research.”

The USF amputee rehabilitation team led by Dr. Highsmith also recently published in the journal Gait Posture on biomechanical work looking at the kinetic symmetry of transfemoral amputees performing transitional movements while utilizing different prosthetic knees; some with microprocessor control and some without.

The C-Leg knee prosthesis.

“It is important to have an understanding of how capable the amputee is of using technological component features,” Dr. Highsmith said.

“These often come with substantially increased mass and cost. Utilization of such features may delay the onset of secondary conditions such as osteoarthritis but without research such as this, we won’t know. Therefore, we won’t know if the new technology offers burden or benefit to the patients we serve and the larger healthcare system.”

For several years, Chas A Blatchford & Sons Ltd. has sponsored an overseas guest speaker to present a feature, invited lecture at the annual ISPO UK Annual Scientific Meeting. Their association and support of ISPO both nationally and internationally is long standing and well known within the rehabilitation profession. The first Blatchford lecture was delivered by Mr Ossur Kristinsson (Iceland) in 1996. Subsequent lectures have been delivered by past presidents of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists John Michael and Don Katz, Associate Professor Dr. Robert Gailey (University of Miami) and Professors Dr. Dudley Childress (Northwestern University) and Dr. Jean Paysant (Universite’ de Nancy; Nancy, France).

Visit the ISPO web site for more information about ISPO and the conference.