16 Days

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By Karen Henry

Claire Lomas of Leicestershire, United Kingdom, completed the 2012 London Marathon on May 8. She completed the race 16 days after she started. She averaged two miles per day, according to various news sources. Lomas, who was paralyzed from the chest down as the result of a horseback riding accident in 2007, completed the 26.2-mile course not in a wheelchair, but upright and walking. She may have been the last of 36,000 participants to cross the finish line, but she is the first person to complete the marathon wearing a robotic exoskeleton, specifically, the ReWalk from Argo Medical Technologies, Yokneam Illit, Israel. Not only was her weeks-long journey one heck of a user trial, it also helped to raise more than US $208,000 for paralysis research.

The ReWalk is one of five robotic exoskeletal devices covered in this issue of The O&P EDGE. While the rehabilitative and mobility potential of this and similar devices are exciting on their own, the possible positive impact on the orthotist's scope of practice give these advances added significance.

The path to clinical efficacy and reimbursement for these devices will be paved, no doubt, with countless user studies. Master's and doctoral-educated O&P practitioners are uniquely qualified to be a part of the research teams that help to make the case. And in 2013, there will be one more master's-level O&P education program to add to the profession's growing base of highly educated practitioners. In March, The O&P EDGE reported that the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, Academic Council and Board of Trustees had approved a new master of science in orthotics and prosthetics degree program. Now, we're giving our readers an exclusive front-row seat to the program's development. Joshua B. Utay, MEd, CPO, an instructor and assistant director of the new program will be reporting on the process of building an O&P master's degree program from the ground up through our Education Outlook column. Check out his first column here.

June also marks the official kick-off of our editorial planning season. Over the next two months, we'll be planning our coverage for 2013. Please continue to let us know how we're doing and what you'd like to see us cover. Send an e-mail to with your ideas and feedback.

Thanks for reading.

Karen Henry