Prostheses and orthoses are closely linked by our understanding of the biomechanics of human movement and body support. We use the shorthand of P&O to identify our selves as professionals and appropriately, the Academy and the JPO support both of these related fields as distinct but also relevant to the other.
In this issue of the Journal we have several articles reporting on orthosis research. Even if you have no daily orthosis practice, you should read these articles. It seems that a transformation of orthoses is under way. A new generation of researchers is tackling the old problems anew, with novel materials, control concepts and instruments. I think that we will come to see orthoses in the same way we have come to accept rapidly advancing design and technology for prostheses.
Finally, we are all grappling with limited evidence to support evidence-based practice. Prosthetists and orthotists should remember that the similarities of the other are an opportunity to expand our understanding of fundamental principles that apply directly to our own interests. There are nuggets of understanding from careful study of each discipline that are ultimately universal.
David A. Boone, CP, MPH, PhD
Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics