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What is in a name?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by krome, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. krome

    krome Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Over the last few years I have been interested in the terminology and definitions used to describe foot orthoses. I peer-review a number of journals and the definition and more importantly the description of foot orthoses is mind-boggling.

    A few years Dr Chris Nester try to get together colleagues from the clinical field, academics and those with a commercial interest to obtain a censuses on the definition of foot orthoses. However, no opinion was sought. Kevin Kirby produced a document on his perspective based upon previous evidence http://www.dpmlab.com/html/newsletter01.html.

    The question I would like to put forward for further discussion – how do we go forward with terminology and definitions in which all clinicians, academics and commercial companies would adhere? For example, should it be based upon the structure/function of the foot orthoses; mechanical properties of the material; manufacturing process; or a combination?
  2. As nice as it would be to have a common vocabulary i cannot see it ever working.

    The balance of the proffession is involved in private practice and there will always be a large number of people who wish to imply that THEIR product is different / follows a new theory / paradigm / breakthrough. I suspect you will never get marketing people, or people who have to market themselves / their product to subscribe to a system which makes it easy for people to compare their products to somebody elses.

    Whilst academics would have use for such a system i cannot see it becoming widely used.


  3. Keith:

    The best way to accomplish this task would be to either get together a panel of selected experts from the clinical and research world or have an existing professional organization form an "international terminology committee" to spend the time together so they could hash out terminology which should be adopted worldwide. This document needs to be published in a large peer-reviewed journal with a wide readership so that dissemination could be optimized. I believe that the best existing commonly-used terminology should be chosen as long as it is not ambiguous and new terminology may need to be created to describe functional or material properties that are important to the clinician or researcher.

    What ever happened with Dr. Nester's project? I heard he was working on it but never saw anything published.
  4. LCBL

    LCBL Active Member

    I know Simon Dickinson was on this panel wayyyyy back. Maybe he can enlighten us.
  5. Originally Posted by LCBL paraphrasing Simon Spooner
    The bottom line is- too many people prescribe devices who haven't got the faintest idea of what they are doing- but certain unscrupulous labs support this = Too many people in it for the money.

    This (as me good colleague Robert points out- after introducing new terminology himself -"calibrated" my arse :D And he doesn't even make money out of this game ;) ) will be the ultimate stumbling block.
  6. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member


    In the early ninties myself and Ray Smith put together a glossary of terms for basic biomechanics <http://www.podiatry.curtin.edu.au/glossary/> I note the last update was 2002. My how time flies and apologies for omissions and new addtitions form that date. We spent sometime gathering information before we compiled the reference and found two major challenges apart from the diverse opinion out there. The first was a 'conservative reserve' and reluctance to accept standard nomenclature by pods, and more importantly bioengineering and podiatric biomechanics shared words but not always the same meaning. This was to an extent where there was often no common ground whatsoever. We also discovered in the bigger worlds of orthostics and prosthetics, common nomenclature was still something their Society's were grappling with and at the time no likelyhood of a consensus.

    I might refer you to the Australasian Podiatry Councils guidelines to foot orthoses. Here they have attempted to define orthotic interventions. Whilst I understand why this has been done I do have major concerns about these because of its narrow podio-centric appraoch.

    Good hunting


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