Orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) are deceptive disciplines. From casual observation, it all seems quite straightforward: There is a body; it needs form, positioning, support, and movement. Because most of us are born into flesh that has shape and motion much like anyone else, should not we all basically know how to improve the state of another body that needs an orthosis or prosthesis? We know what brings a person comfort or pain. We find our balance and use muscle power at will. It is this tacit, intimate knowledge of ourselves that creates the deception that O&P should not be all that hard—but it is.
Even in my 30th year in this field, I realize that the amount I do not know still far exceeds what is explicit knowledge that I can call upon. What could seem so simple a long time ago remains fascinating, and the ultimate realization of the potential for prosthetics and orthotics is still elusive. And that is the reason that JPO needs to exist. We must continue to add to the body of knowledge, bit by bit, and record what we have learned where it can be shared with all of our colleagues seeking to do more for each patient they encounter.
Finally, this is the last of the comments I will add to JPO. The Academy staff and our managing editor work much harder than you know on every issue. I am thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work with them, and they have been supportive and professional and cheerful right up to every deadline. My tenure as editor-in-chief is now complete, and Dr Steven Gard, engineer, scientist, colleague, and friend, has taken up this task. I have tried to move JPO forward, and Steve will certainly take it much further in his time. Even as many other print journals struggle, JPO thrives because it has a unique voice for a small and specialized field. It is something for all Academy members to be proud of and continue to support and appreciate. I do.
David A. Boone, CP, MPH, PhD
Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics