3D printers are being used to produce insoles and splints which could help millions of people with disabling foot and ankle conditions.
A team at Glasgow Caledonian University is “printing” devices which are more supportive and quicker to make.
Normally, making foot and ankle splints is a long and laborious process – a model of the foot is made, often from plaster, then plastic is moulded around it by hand.
This process can take anywhere up to six weeks, with patients waiting in considerable pain.
Prof Jim Woodburn, a specialist in foot problems at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Our goal is based on, for example, the Specsavers model so what we would like to do is ideally provide the patient with the device on the day.”
The team are using 3D printers to build foot and ankle supports with a new degree of precision.
Inflammatory arthritis is an umbrella term describing a group of autoimmune diseases that involve inflammation in the joints. Autoimmune diseases occur when a body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In the case of inflammatory arthritis a person’s joints are attacked, which can result in chronic pain and inflammation. Depending upon the specific type of inflammatory arthritis, different joints, organs and parts of the body may be affected.
The Show Us Your Hands! Inflammatory Arthritis Community Collage is a symbol of the wonderfully supportive inflammatory arthritis community that continues to grow and connect online. It acts as a reminder that we should be proud of our inflammatory arthritis hands. The Show Us Your Hands! community includes people who live with:
“Light a candle near a window”, is the call made by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, in collaboration with WHO, on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day 2012. It is intended as a message of hope and understanding for those who attempt to end their lives due to feelings of despair and lack of hope.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day this year is “Suicide prevention across the globe: strengthening protective factors and instilling hope”. The aim of the Day, which is celebrated annually on 10 September, is to raise awareness among the scientific community and the general population that suicide is preventable.
In a blog post that I wrote a little over a year ago, I–for the first time ever–spoke about my own personal struggle with suicidal thoughts, which I experienced soon after being diagnosed with chronic illness. Please SHARE, in the hopes of helping others who might be facing some of the same challenges right at this moment.
Don’t Lose Hope!
by RA Guy on July 19, 2011
Today’s post discusses the sensitive yet important topics of depression and suicide. I have received suicide letters here in the past both as emails and blog comments (never published of course), and my hope is that by sharing my own personal story, I might be able to help others who are struggling with these issues themselves.
The old days of medical paternalism are gone. Today we have shared decision-making, in which doctors describe treatment options and patients choose the one they prefer.
It sounds simple, but it’s not. I learned this when I had to decide whether to have a feeding tube during cancer treatment. Doctors explained the tube’s benefits and risks, then left it to me to decide. I said no. I had my reasons — I didn’t want a foreign object in my body or an overnight stay in the hospital. I wanted to prove that I was tough enough to get through treatment without extra help.
But this was a bad decision. As time passed, I became too weak to continue daily radiation sessions. People kept trying to get me to change my mind, and finally a nurse succeeded. Consenting to the tube was the right thing to do, but it took a lot of persuasion for me to accept that.
Argument is a legitimate part of shared decision-making, but not everyone understands this. Some clinicians think that respect for autonomy means they should never disagree with a patient. Some think that it would be cruel to question what a seriously ill person says she wants. Some don’t want to devote time to the hard conversations that produce good decisions.
Patients avoid arguments, too. Many are too intimidated to take issue with anything a doctor says. But doctors aren’t always right, and patients who are afraid to argue can pay the price. A friend had his cancer properly diagnosed only after he challenged his doctors’ opinions about what was wrong.
In everyday life, arguments with family and friends help us think through the consequences of our choices and sometimes change our minds. Patients and doctors should do the same for one another.
St. Louis, Aug. 21, 2012
The writer is a professor of law and medical humanities at Washington University and the editor of “Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer.”