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Welcome to the Orthopaedic Section, APTA!


The 2015 3rd Annual Orthopaedic Section Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, highlighted the physical therapist’s role in the rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries and impairments of the hip, knee, and ankle through an active learning environment, small group discussions, and hands-on labs.

Industry experts in manual therapy, biomechanics, movement science, regenerative rehabilitation, sports injury analysis, orthopaedic surgery, radiology, stem cell research, ACL reconstruction rehabilitation, and rheumatology addressed various lower-extremity dysfunctions commonly seen in orthopedic practice. In addition, meeting participants received great information regarding curriculum resources available to facilitate the development of orthopaedic residency programs. Throughout the conference, attendees engaged in active learning sessions with colleagues while enjoying the luxurious amenities and atmosphere provided by the beautiful Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in lovely Phoenix, Arizona.

Following section breakout sessions, attendees shared their thoughts about the Annual Meeting:  “Every year I enjoy attending CSM, but it is often challenging to dialogue with presenters because of the large crowds. Therefore, I prefer the intimate setting of the annual orthopaedic section meeting.” “It was great to speak with other academicians to discuss future research collaboration opportunities.” “I received great career advice, and connected with a potential faculty mentor. It was great to reconnect with friends, clinical mentors, and colleagues in orthopaedic practice. “ “The hands-on portion of the breakout sessions was phenomenal; I received great feedback from orthopaedic experts regarding patient handling techniques.”

As the Orthopaedic Section continues to grow and expand this Annual Meeting, we will continue to assess and measure feedback from attendees and section members to provide quality continuing education to advance clinical practice. We would like to thank all of the presenters, exhibitors, and attendees for making this event a great success! If you missed out this year, please mark your calendars for May 5-7, 2016, for the 4th Annual Orthopaedic Section Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.


The Registered Musculoskeletal Sonography (RMSK) credential was first offered in 2012 by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Physical therapists have qualified to sit for the examination from the outset. In January 2015 the ARDMS announced it was creating a new credential the Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer (RMSKS). Physical therapists were no longer qualified to sit for the physician RMSK and were only eligible for the RMSKS credential. The Imaging Special Interest Group through the Orthopaedic Section and in coordination with APTA responded and asked the ARDMS to revisit their decision. Recently the ARDMS acknowledged the scope of practice of physical therapists better aligns with the physician RMSK credential and physical therapists will retain the RMSK and continue to qualify to sit for the RMSK. Additional information can be found at: www.ardms.org/get-certified/RMSK/Pages/musculoskeletal-sonography.aspx

Orthopaedic Instructor Alert...
Foot and ankle information now available!

The Orthopaedic Section and the Foot and Ankle Special Interest Group (FASIG) are proud to announce the completion of the Foot and Ankle Curricular Guidelines for Physical Therapist Professional Degree Programs©

Want to round out your orthopaedic curriculum?
Looking to review your references for orthopaedic content?
Need to update teaching materials for the foot and ankle?

Download the most complete review of current orthopaedic information for the entry-level physical therapist today. It's free! Brought to you by your membership dues, your Orthopaedic Section, and the Foot and Ankle Special Interest Group!

Foundation Announces 2015 Recipients of Postprofessional Doctoral Scholarships and Fellowship Totaling $250,500

The Foundation recently awarded our 2015 Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) Scholarships and New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative. Please note that Orthopaedic section members Allyn Susko Bove, Rebekah Lawrence, and Philip Malloy received PODS II Scholarships, and Amee Seitz received the New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative. The full press release can be found on the Foundation’s website.  Click here to access this press release.   
PTA Recognition of Advanced Proficiency

The PTA Recognition of Advanced Proficiency Program recognizes physical therapist assistants (PTAs) who have achieved advanced proficiency through education, experience, leadership and as part of the PT/PTA team in a specified area of work: acute care, aquatic, cardiovascular/pulmonary, education, geriatric, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, oncology, and/or pediatric physical therapy. This brand signifies that the recipient has gone above and beyond entry-level education in their selected area of work and sets the recipient apart from other providers.

The following Orthopaedic Section members have met all of the eligibility requirements for the 2014-2015 American Physical Therapy Association’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Recognition of Advanced Proficiency.  Read on.

Imaging Education Manual Now Available

The Imaging Education Manual has been created to facilitate the continued development of imaging instruction in physical therapist education and to heighten awareness among academic and clinical faculty of the legislative and regulatory issues the physical therapy profession is facing. The IEM provides resource information to assist faculty in curriculum planning and imaging instruction in both academic and clinical venues. The ultimate goal is that all physical therapist professional educational programs provide appropriate imaging education based on sound evidence, current APTA positions/policies, and projected future practice models as endorsed by the APTA Vision Statement and other association documents.

Click here to access this document and resource list.

 Physical Therapy or Advanced Imaging as First Management Strategy Following a New Consultation for Low Back Pain in Primary Care:
Associations with Future Health Care Utilization and Charges

Fritz JM, Brennan GP, Hunter SJ. Physical therapy or advanced imaging as first management strategy following a new consultation for low back pain in primary care: Association with future health care utilization and charges. Health Services Research. 2015. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12301

This study is an excellent example of health care utilization research in physical therapy. In this retrospective analysis, individuals with low back pain (LBP) who sought primary care and were initially referred for advanced imaging had a higher one-year health care utilization ($4,793 on average) than those individuals who were initially referred to physical therapy. Additionally, the odds of all utilization outcomes were higher for patients who received advanced imaging first compared to those that received physical therapy first. This study concluded that patients who consulted a primary care provider for uncomplicated LBP and received health care beyond primary care had lower medical charges and decreased need for future health care if they started with physical therapy as compared to advanced imaging. Read on.

PTs Receive Millions in Funding For Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Initiative

Many congratulations to Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA, and Pamela Duncan, PT, PhD, FAPTA, being among 5 researchers to receive funding in the first-ever Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Pragmatic Clinical Funding Initiative. Dr Delitto will investigate; “Does prompt referral to physical therapy keep back pain from becoming a chronic condition”. Dr. Duncan will investigate; “Is it better for stroke patients to go home from the hospital sooner, with special planning, and recover there?”

These very large and diverse pragmatic studies will be conducted within routine clinical settings and should produce data that will better enable clinicians to appreciate evidence for whether treatments work the same or differently in different patient groups. The clinical setting results data will provide patients and practitioners with useful evidence from which to make better-informed decisions that lead to better outcomes. For further information see http://www.apta.org/Media/Releases/Association/2015/2/24/


It is our pleasure and privilege to congratulate the following Orthopaedic Residencies that have been newly credentialed by APTA

Orthopaedic Section Clinical Research Network (CRN) Grant Update

Creation of the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy – Investigative Network (OPT-IN) for the Optimal Screening for Prediction of Referral and Outcome (OSPRO) Cohort Study. Read on.

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