Annual Meeting Review; May 17-20, 2006; Sacramento,California

Noƫlla Shorgan, BScPT MA

Did you hop aboard the railroad to join the search for the gold excellence in pediatric care this year? What an event ACPOC's meeting was! Sacramento welcomed us in its warm embrace with sun and stars. Our local hosts were the Shrine of Northern California's team :Joel A Lerman, MD, Anita Bagley, PhD, and Michelle James, MD. The program committee had a real educational blockbuster prepared. The committee consisted of Michael L. Schmitz, MD, Robert D. Lipschutz, CP and Joel Lerman, MD.


Wednesday afternoon six workshops were given (Seating and Mobility by Otto Bock; TC Flax Orthoses and Orthotic Management of Plagiocephaly by Orthomerica; Orthotic Management of the Lower Extremity in CP Population by Ultraflex Systems; Transition from Pediatric to Adult Prosthetic Components by College Park and Dynamic Orthosis .. in Children with CP & other Diagnoses by Allard USA.) Two product demonstrations followed by KISS Technologies and Ohio Willow Wood.

Thanks to the sponsorship of Ohio Willow Wood, over 200 participants enjoyed the welcome reception in the exhibit hall, beginning the social/ professional networking that is the hallmark of our meetings.


With the exhibit hall adjacent to the meeting room, we had easy access to the 34 exhibitors during the continental breakfasts, breaks, and lunchtimes. This convenient location facilitated exchanges and discussions as well as product touching and turning!

President Ken Guidera, MD, opened the meeting Thursday. In the enthusiasm to charge into the meat of the scientific papers, the welcome letter from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was read at 8:00! A total of nine scientific papers, six challenging cases and six symposia were presented intermingling orthotics, prosthetics and the management of various pathologies throughout the two and a half day program. This year's Hector Kay Lecture delivered by Randal R. Betz, MD, Was entitled "Clinical and Research Applications of Orthotics and Neuroprosthesis for Health and Wellness of children with Spinal Cord Injury" Neuroprosthetic stimulation of lower extremity musculature for orthotic ambulation training with spinal cord injured patients of differing ASIA classifications, bowel and bladder training using sacral stimulation and activity based rehabilitation cycling with FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) were discussed as well as future avenues for research. Seamlessly this was followed by a Spinal Cord Injury symposium. The team presented functional goals, tendon transfer options for optimizing function, outcome measurement tools, quality of life issues and the impact of the increased life expectancy in this pediatric population.

Contracture management in pediatric burn patients with amputations was the topic of the second symposium. The take-home message was that contractures can develop within hours without "the opposing force".

The "how to" presentation on research in a clinical setting was masterfully presented. It left us confident that all are capable of this necessary aspect of our practice, and armed with new tools to avoid pitfalls and poor scientific constructs.

ACPOC's mission may be pediatric care, but the fourth symposium reminded us of the time-line involved in the transition process to adulthood. Reviewing the literature on transition and presenting the development of an educational event for limb deficient patients and their families highlighted that the goal of autonomy should begin at intake and not at age 16!

Symposium five described issues relating to brachial plexus birth palsy. The multidisciplinary team approach and the therapy, surgeries, orthotics and longterm outcomes were presented.


The final symposium featured neural engineering for transhumeral and shoulder disarticulation fittings following targeted hyper-reinnervation nerve transfer surgery. The dramatic side by side videos comparing pre and post surgery function in a Box and Blocks Test and Clothespin Test explained beyond words how the additional sites permitting simultaneous control of multiple myoelectric function in adults led to refined accuracy and control. Much happened during the other hours. There were the usual lively debates, including nomenclature. A new ACPOC condition was minted during the PFFD challenging case presentations: "Watt A", meeting the criteria ( to paraphrase) everyone gives It the same name, everyone understands what It is and all know intervene or treat It!!

We were welcomed Saturday morning for breakfast at the impressive Shrine of Northern California. After a tour (with staff to answer our many questions, and very patient volunteers) the group split into the last workshops.

The business meeting was held Friday noon. The reports were read and new members attending this meeting were presented. Outgoing members of the Board, Mary Williams Clark, MD and Noella Shorgan, were thanked for serving their 3-year term . Ken Guidera handed the gavel to Owen A. Larson, CP, for his 3-year presidential term. There was the election of the new members of the board and officers. Robin Crandall, MD, is our new vice-president and Janet G. Marshall, CPO, has accepted a third term as secretary-treasurer. New members joining are: David B. Rotter, CPO, and Anthony A. Scaduto, MD, for 3-year terms and Noella Shorgan, BScPT, MA, for a 2-year term. Honorary membership was bestowed on Sheril King thanking her for her many years of service to the organization. Sandra Smith gave a presentation on ACPOC's website. All will receive a password in a mailing shortly, and will then be able to input their profile information. An update on the Amputee Registry project was presented by Anthony A. Scaduto. In the near future, a web-based collection system will be implemented. This database is essential for ongoing inter-center research. It would be a misrepresentation to complete a report with no mention of the stolen minutes of informal chit-chat to catch up with old friends, to network with colleagues and to welcome new members and non-members attending. Be these at meal times, bus rides, around the pool or during the three special events lined up for us, our small association thrives because of the social aspect as much as by its scientific excellence. A few pictures illustrate the events: the play, the railway museum cocktail and the wine, mine and dine tour.


If you were not in Sacramento you missed striking gold. We had a great meeting, except we missed seeing you. Take out your agendas now and make sure to be with us in Atlanta, April 11-14, 2007. Watch for the call for papers, available now online at Put on you thinking caps and dig out your challenging questions!

Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant