A blurry-eyed arrival to the conference from weeks of inspired creativity in the "Rehabilitation Arts" was met with friendly faces, kind hand-shakes and hugs. I had a wonderful time meeting and re-meeting everyone and I am told my talk went over quite well. It was titled "Pedorthic Solutions for Persons With Proteus: Phun With Pheet!" and I demonstrated the fabrication techniques I employ to make Brian Richards' custom orthotics. I took out the algebraic math and used some simple geometry to demonstrate the concept of fore-foot varus or valgus wedging for dispersing plantar pressures while simultaneously relieving large bony masses at each stage of the gait cycle. I had limited evaluation findings except for my powers of recall (I've seen this population since 1999), photos, conversations with Brian and the casts of his feet. A great many assumptions were made regarding joint position from the STJ and above but nothing beats good communication to gain a thorough understanding of a person's pathology. I employed a tissue stress approach to identify key areas of need and selected the materials that could do the job. I issued Brian his new orthotics in front of the audience and other than two small areas of fit and feel, Brian said,"It feels like I'm walking on air!" A priceless moment.
My friend Daniel was awesome in delivering a method of adjusting Crocs with a heatgun. I and the audience were raptured by his passion and creative enthusiasm. I also introduced my "Conceptual Pedorthics" approach whose philosophy states that assisting the human body in self-locomotion will improve life experience and strives to view the foot as an existential tool. This school of thought allows for open-minded, evidence-based, pedorthic foot care within the confines of the patient's functional life. Thank you, Dr. Leslie Biesecker, Kim Hoag, Julie Sapp, Barbara King, Mary Timmerman, Pam Goddard and all the great people involved in the Proteus Syndrome Foundation in one way or another. Thank you to Uneaqual Technologies, Fastcut CNC, Pel Supply, and the good folks at Podiatry-arena.com . Best of all, A cause has been found. And that was the best news all day long!
Chris Gracey MPT, Cped