Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics- March 2020

March 2020

Where All My Interests and Passions Converged Why I Love Being a CPO

What do you do when you’re on track to become a mechanical engineer but also want the levels of human interaction that come with being a medical professional? What if you also don’t want to be a doctor or nurse? Well, based on my own personal experience, you become a certified prosthetist and orthotist, or CPO for short. While I earned my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering from Boise State University, I realized I didn’t want to be confined to a research lab or behind a computer for the rest of my life. During my junior year, I took a class that let us study the internal aspects of prosthetics. We studied the design and manufacturing of things like hip and knee joint replacements. I found some aspects of the course interesting, but I couldn’t see myself designing the prosthetics separate from interacting with the people who would actually be using them. When I discovered the CPO profession, it was like finding the perfect convergence of everything I was passionate about in my studies. Being a CPO is incredibly rewarding and uniquely challenging. Many times, I meet with patients when they’re at one of the lowest and most uncertain points in their life. They may be dealing with the recent traumatic loss of a limb, they may be on a new path for orthotic/prosthetic intervention, or they may have suffered from injury or amputation years prior to our appointment and have lost all hope of ever having a normal life again. I get to serve each individual and address their own set of challenges as they regain their independence, along with educating and supporting their families. I can say without a doubt that few things are more fulfilling than watching someone regain their independence and mobility. I’m fortunate to have found an incredibly rewarding and challenging career that supports my interests and a workplace that’s 100% committed to serving patients however it can. We make sure anyone who comes through the doors

at Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics feels like their concerns are heard and their needs are met. Dictating what you

think patients need, rather than listening to what they actually need and responding accordingly, is a big problem in the prosthetic industry. But we’re about more than just cycling patients through our office and living and dying by

the dollar. We want to invest in our patients’ lives and in our community. The Challenged Athletes Foundation set up a Boise chapter last May, and it’s been amazing to see all the doors that have opened for us to be involved in the Treasure Valley community while also supporting our patients’ dreams. When I’m not at the office, I love spending time working on the farm my husband and I own, training horses, and hiking with our dogs. I’m a professional equestrian and have spent a large part of my life living around horses and training hunter/jumpers. That said, I did take a break from that life in college and grad school. Instead, I ran Ironman races and marathons and even qualified for the Boston Marathon at one point. Now though, I’m back to training horses for competitions all over the Northwest and running a local equestrian nonprofit. In any other spare time, I love to travel and explore new cultures all over the world with my husband and spend time with our family. If you’re ever interested in finding a prosthesis that will let you run triathlons or road races, then let me know! I would love to help you find the right prosthesis for doing what you love.

–Brittany Tilden

" I can say without a doubt that few things are more fulfilling than watching someone regain their independence and mobility."

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Ever since its invention just over 20 years ago, microprocessor knees (MPK) have revolutionized prosthetics and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible for lower-extremity amputees. In many cases, they’ve given amputees a level of mobility closer than ever before to that of nonamputees. All MPKs include microprocessors, sensors, and a hydraulic or pneumatic resistance system, among other components. The sensors detect changes in terrain, which can alert the microprocessor to adjust the knee’s resistance. For wearers, this has a number of positive implications. Higher Levels of Activity You don’t have to be an athlete to notice the difference between an MPK and a regular prosthesis. Wearers can walk at varying speeds and up and down hills and stairs in a way that doesn’t affect their natural gait. The leg can adjust accordingly for different activities, such as riding a bike or driving, with minimal strain for the wearer. Increased Stability One major concern for amputees who start wearing a prosthesis is the risk of falling, especially in places that can be challenging to navigate, such as on uneven surfaces or in areas with large crowds. With MPKs, this becomes much less of a concern. A few different studies have reported that wearers experienced a nearly 90% increase in confidence and security and nearly an 85% improvement in their gait and maneuverability. And Is It the Right Prosthesis for You? WHAT IS A MICROPROCESSOR KNEE?

Meditation and Pain Relief PRACTICE PAIN RELIEF

Meditation has different meanings for different people. Traditionally, the act of focusing one’s mind has been used in religious and spiritual practices around the globe. More recently, it’s become a popular method of relaxation. Now, new research shows that this ancient practice may have yet another benefit: pain management. In 2008, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that over 100 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain due to conditions like arthritis and debilitating injuries. Because of this, care providers have become focused on finding ways to help patients manage these persistent aches. The sensation of pain is caused by a complex interaction of biological and cognitive factors, leading scientists to study how mental exercises like meditation can aid in pain relief. Anecdotal evidence regarding meditation’s ability to reduce pain has existed for as long as the practice itself. However, modern technology has given researchers the means to accurately measure the effectiveness of this age-old tradition. The Department of Health and Human Services has cited MRI brain scans as proof that meditation can lead to moderate pain reduction. These scans revealed that the same areas of the brain stimulated by painkillers are activated when the mind is in a meditative state. This supports the accounts of those who have reported better functionality after meditative sessions. With the ongoing tragedy of the opioid crisis, there is a dire need for pain management strategies that are noninvasive and not habit-forming, such as physical therapy. Meditation is easily accessible and can be used in conjunction with other pain relief strategies. Whether you sign up for guided meditation sessions, download one of the many mindfulness apps on the market today, or simply make time to sit and clear your mind for 30 minutes, it’s easy to add meditation to your normal routine.

Increased Peace of Mind With MPKs, wearers aren’t forced to “watch their step” as often as they might have to with other prostheses. With the microprocessors doing a greater share of the heavy lifting while the wearer moves around, they don’t have to focus so much on where they’re putting their leg. Their minds are free to do other things, and they’ll have more opportunities for employment and for spending time with family.

If you have any questions about MPKs, don’t hesitate to talk to one of our CPOs at Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics or call our office at (208) 377-4024.


Myth No. 2: It’s expensive. False. You don’t have to eat what’s native to the Mediterranean, so don’t swear off avocados just yet. Eat locally by choosing in-season fruits and vegetables that benefit your diet and your wallet. You’ll find that preparing meals centered on vegetables and whole grains is very affordable, especially when you get your grains from dry bulk bins. And while buying olives and cheese might be expensive, you can get away with buying small amounts. Try different brands of canned olives for affordable alternatives to bottled ones. Plus, some grocery stores place cheap cuts of their premium cheeses near the deli. Myth No. 3: Nutritionally, it’s 30%–40% fat. True. But be careful about which type of fat. The Mediterranean diet relies heavily on olive oil instead of butter or lard for cooking. Saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats like palm oil don’t contribute positively to your heart health, but a diet based on natural fats can improve your overall cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are also crucial for the Mediterranean diet and include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore, and lake trout. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, consumption of these fish improves your blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body. If you’re concerned about your heart health, try out this plant-based diet with a focus on foods local to you for long-term health and delicious meals. Your body will thank you! Fact vs. Fiction: The Mediterranean Diet

While the basis of the Mediterranean diet

has been a staple in its titular region for centuries, it wasn’t until the 1960s that nutritionists popularized the concept in Western culture. Doctors noticed

that Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have fewer heart disease-related deaths than the U.S. and northern Europe. When they looked to regional eating habits for answers, they found a common plant-based diet rich in healthy fats, seafood, and bread. However, in modern years, misconceptions plague the popular diet, so let’s clear some up.

Myth No. 1: It’s rigid. False. There are no defined portion sizes for the Mediterranean diet. Instead, it comes with a loose guideline: Eat a plant-based diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with a weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Dairy products are allowed in conservative amounts, but nutritionists discourage red meat intake whenever possible. To the delight of many Mediterranean dieters, a moderate amount of red wine is encouraged!




• • • • • • • • • • • •

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp cumin 2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered

2 tbsp fresh parsley, for garnish


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, 1/2 cup oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and crushed red pepper. Whisk together, then marinate chicken in mixture and cover and refrigerate for 1–12 hours. 2. Heat oven to 425 F. Place onion in chicken marinade, tossing to coat. Spread onion and chicken on a baking sheet lined with the remaining olive oil. 3. Roast for 30–40 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 2 minutes, and slice chicken into bite-sized pieces. 4. Garnish with parsley and serve.

208-377-4024 3


175 N. Benjamin Lane Boise, ID 83704 208-377-4024

3906 E. Flamingo Ave. Nampa, ID 83687 208.466.4360 Follow Us


1 Why I Love Being a CPO

2 Meditation and Pain Relief 2 All About Microprocessor Knees

3 Have You Heard These Myths About the Mediterranean Diet? 3 Chicken Shawarma

4 Tell Your Story and Share Your Wisdom

Do You Have a Story to Tell? Share Your Wisdom in a Memoir

The urge to leave

the house. And because personal reflection is a natural occurrence with age, writing a memoir can be the perfect way to spend your time. As you gain enough distance from life events to grow useful perspectives, the stage is set for self-discovery and transformation. Even more so, your life experiences can give valuable insights to readers of all ages and circumstances. That’s why biographies and memoirs are such popular genres — reading about real people helps others understand the world and how they can live in it. To get started, pick a theme. Ask yourself these questions, “What message do I want to leave with my readers? What do I want them to feel or understand by reading my words?” From there, select anecdotes that support your theme. Make sure they’re clear and cohesive. Then, write like you would a fictional novel or story. Show, don’t tell, and keep readers invested by having a narrative arc, whether it flows chronologically or jumps back and forth in time. Remember, this is not a time to air dirty laundry; it’s a time to reflect, grow, and share your experiences with the world.

behind a legacy is an inherent

human instinct. Whether you

accomplish this by raising children, building

a successful company,

or starting a charitable organization, the desire to share your wisdom should not go unfulfilled. If none of these options work for your

lifestyle, writing a memoir may be a good option. A memoir not only tells your story but

also passes on the wisdom you’ve gained from your many experiences and offers a unique perspective to inspire future generations.

Writing can be a therapeutic exercise at a time when your life may be changing due to retirement or your kids growing up and leaving


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