While writing a book appears to be a solitary endeavor, it is not. There are many individuals who contribute to a book directly or indirectly. Throughout my career, my patients have helped me learn how to be a more effective practitioner and to consider each as an individual and not to make assumptions about goals based on age or disability. To all my patients over the years, I owe a debt of gratitude, and much that I have learned from them is part of this book.
My students have also taught me a great deal and, in their evaluations of my courses and previous texts, have helped me make this text as readable and “user friendly” as I can. Students in the California State University Sacramento physical therapy classes of 2008 and 2009 actually reviewed many of the prosthetic chapters in development and provided good feedback on what was helpful and what was confusing.
Many of the photographs were freely donated by component manufacturers; their prompt responses, explanations, and materials enabled us to include the most current and clear photographs and descriptions. Over the years, my patients have willingly let me photograph them to enhance both publications and teaching. Special thanks go to Lindsay M. Morehead who willingly endured numerous photo shoots during the past 2 years.
Thanks also to my coauthor Margery A. Lockard, who has made the complex field of orthotics clinically available to students and practitioners. Most especially, I thank the editors who kept the book moving even when I despaired of it reaching publication. Margaret M. Biblis initially proposed combining pros-thetics and orthotics and, through the years of development and production, was a patient listener to my complaints and an enabler of the whole process. Margaret “Peg” Waltner carefully edited each chapter, tried hard to keep us on time, and made sure every “t” was crossed and “i” was dotted. Without the hard work and support of these individuals and others in the artistic and production staff of E. A. Davis, this book would never have seen the light of day.
Having used the earlier editions of this textbook, Amputations and Prosthetics: A Case Study Approach, to support courses in Prosthetics and Orthotics that I have taught over the years, I was honored to be invited by Bella J. May to help her update and expand the book to include orthotic devices. I was particularly excited about this project because it provided the opportunity to present this material as I had tried to teach it for many years: not as two separate bodies of information that just happened to be fused together in one course, but in a way that helps students see the similarities among prosthetic and orthotic devices: how they work biomechanically; how they are selected or prescribed; and how to train individuals to use their devices to achieve their functional goals. I thank Bella for this extraordinary and rewarding opportunity.
Another focus of the book that has been exciting for me is that it not only presents the necessary information about the devices, their componentry, and what types of patients typically use them, but also graphically shows students the processes involved in making the clinical decisions about device selection and prescription, how to train patients in their use, and how to diagnose problems when they arise. The development of many of the graphics that illustrate these decision-making processes are a direct result of years of student questions that guided me to organize, outline, and clarify how to apply knowledge and examination findings to get to the decision that was needed. I owe a huge debt to all the persistent students from Hahnemann, Arcadia, Temple, and Drexel universities who kept asking “why and how.”
Prosthetics and orthotics is not a subject matter that can be described with just a “sea of words.” Students must see and ultimately touch and move the devices to understand how they work and can help clients. Thus, I am thankful to the editors who supported our efforts to ensure that all the major concepts in the text are presented visually in the many photographs and drawings throughout the text. I would like to thank all the friends and clients who were willing to share their devices with you, the reader, and paused or adjusted their schedules for the camera. These include Carol Chew, Rocco DiSimone, Bob Dyer, Jeff Emrey, Father Greg Hickey, Michael Kennedy, Beth Lockard, Rita McClerkin, Christopher Nowak, Brian Smithman, and Liz Thompson. I would also like to thank photographer Jason Torres for his extraordinary skill and willingness to “keep snapping” until the picture was right.
I also need to thank the prosthetic and orthotic professionals who helped me to find examples of all the devices and materials that I wanted to show. Jack LaWall, CPO, and Tim Rayer, CP, were very supportive to me in this project, always took my calls with a smile, and always came up with the materials I needed. Thanks also go to Jane Fedorczyk, PT, PhD, CHT, ACT, director of the Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation Programs in the Department of Physical Therapy at Drexel University, who provided most of the upper limb orthoses and splints.
Thanks also go to the extensive and creative team at F. A. Davis who provided technical and managerial support and guided this textbook from an idea to reality. We are fortunate to have Publisher Margaret Biblis working with us, whose vision, energy, and experience kept us focused, and development editor Peg Waltner, whose patience, persistence, and positivity were a constant in keeping this project moving forward.
Finally, I could never have completed this project without the unfaltering support of my husband, children, and friends, who gave up countless hours of time and attention, smilingly “covered the bases,” and never asked, “how can she still be working on that book"!