It was my first day of work at Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics. I started my internship under the supervision of Rob Gabourie, the owner at that time. Being a holiday, no clients were in that day. Rob did a gait and foot assessment and then he took a plaster cast of my feet for custom foot orthotics. I then did the same for him trying to integrate what I had learned in school with Rob’s many unique techniques. By the time I was finished there was a plaster mess on my clothes, on the floor and my head was swirling with thoughts and ideas.
July 01, 2016.
Twenty years, new ownership and administration and many clients later, I am still using many of the methods I learned in those early days of my career. Some techniques and materials have been abandoned and replaced with newer more effective procedures. Other things, I have only recently learned and implemented into my daily practice… computer controlled components,3D scanning and electronic patient files to name only a few.
Some of the braces and prostheses that I now fit are not much different than ones made in 1996. There are times when a 1996 prosthesis or a 1950’s brace is the appropriate device for someone. A metal and leather long leg brace attached to a shoe still has its place.
However, modern techniques, materials and components offer choices and potential solutions for clients that did not exist in 1996. Today’s braces and prostheses are often more comfortable and functional. We can sometimes fit someone with a brace or prosthesis that we could not have in 1996.