When I walk into any nursing facility I am always amazed at the security in place there. However, it is not just to prevent people from coming in but also preventing the confused residents from getting out. One of the major concerns with Alzheimers and Dementia patients is the their potential to wander away due to confusion. Over 5.4 million people are affected by Alzheimers in the United States. It is estimated 60% of patients suffering from Alzheimer's will wander off.
Recently, multiple shoe companies have attempted to address this problem with GPS (global positioning system) shoes. One company that has developed these shoes, Aetrex Worldwide, has also synched with Google Maps and can pinpoint exactly where a loved one has wandered to. The devices can be programmed to send off an alert when the patient has wandered out of a designated area. Also, by placing the device in the shoes it is less likely the patients will be able to remove the device. While these devices can not completely remove the incidence of patients wandering, it certainly can help eliminate the potential devastating events that can occur. This technology although first developed for runners has benefited many patients suffering with Alzheimer's and their families. http://www.podiatrycarespecialists.com/
As I began to read this article, my mind started to process this from a podiatric point of view. I was hoping that in performing a toe-thumb transplant, they didn't perform this using the great toe. I was greatly relieved to learn that Dr. Long used the 2nd toe for the transplantation. The great toe or hallux is an extremely important part in the mechanics of propulsion and walking. There are a numerous muscles and tendons that are connected to the great toe that are of the utmost importance for standing, balance, and gait. If they performed a transplant utilizing the great toe, they would have potentially created two problems:
One, that the foot would not function nearly as well without its supportive base. The big toe is integral for the body to move from step to step. It is the main force that moves you forward. If the big toe is no longer present, then the body naturally shifts towards the outside of the foot. This can cause hammertoes, pain in the ball of foot, and inflammation of the foot tendons.
Secondly, the great toe due to its unusual anatomy would not perform as well in the hand as the second toe could. A thumb's main function is to grasp and hold objects. The second toe is simpler in its anatomy and has the ability to better function as a replacement for thumb function. As far as loss of second toe function in the foot, while it being far from ideal without it, is easier for the foot to adapt.
What a heart breaker to end the season with a Phillie's loss. What may
be even more of a heart breaker is that Ryan Howard may have torn his
Achilles tendon. If that is the case, he may not return until August of
next year. He recently had cortisone injections around the tendon prior
to the playoffs. Some Dr's do not like to give this type of injection
near the Achilles Tendon for fear that it may rupture the tendon. We
will not know until later today if the tendon was torn. He is scheduled
to undergo an MRI. Stay tuned for more info.
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