The February 2011 issue of The Academy TODAY focuses on the important topic of skin and soft tissue management. Whether you’re an O&P practitioner, vascular surgeon or physician who cares for patients with amputations, diabetes or vascular disease, take some time to read through the articles in this O&P Edge supplement.
One of the articles, “The Mechanics of Soft Tissue Damage: Removing the “Teeth” from the Rub” by J. Martin (“Marty”) Carlson, CPO, FAAOP, discusses the often neglected, yet critically important, concern for shear stresses on the skin when caring for patients with amputations or diabetic foot ulcers. Marty writes, “We intuitively equate cushy with comfort. There is an equally important second material characteristic, which is related to friction… It is the shear stresses caused by friction that do the damage.”
This article presents an easy to understand, yet thorough look at the effect that shear stress has on bony prominences and compromised skin. Marty highlights the benefits and limitations of gel liners and various orthotic materials when paying consideration to the presence of shear trauma. Irritation and “hot spots” are the bodies warning signs of further skin trauma, including blisters, calluses and foot ulcers. Fortunately, with consideration for both pressure and shear, skin trauma to residual limbs and feet can be prevented.
How to access this article?
All of the articles featured in the February 2011 issue of The Academy Today, including “Soft Tissue revision of Amputated Limbs” and “Treating Skin Conditions of the Amputee” can be viewed on the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists website, here: http://www.oandp.org/academytoday/2011feb/
Disclaimer: J. Martin Carlson is the president of Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of products designed to prevent and relieve shear trauma.