prosthetist technical support

Ask a Freedom Product Expert

Do you have questions about selecting the correct Freedom Innovations carbon fiber foot, liner or component?  Need assistance with a Plié Knee fitting or programming?  Want specific technical tips?  Ask one of our qualified Clinical Prosthetists!  Contact our Clinical Services team at (888) 818-6777 for prosthetist technical support or email your questions to techtips@freedom-innovations.com.  See below for frequently asked questions.

Clinical Team

Headshot - Tom Nomura WebTom Nomura, CPO & Director of Clinical Services – Tom comes to Freedom Innovations with over 20 years of experience practicing the trade.  Following his education and certification at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Tom started his career in central fabrication and worked up to a lead technician and eventually as a practice manager.  His experience as a clinician in hospital settings, independent clinics, and also for Hanger, has given him a good perspective of the unique needs within different settings.  When Tom worked for Kaiser Permanente as a Regional CPO, and spent time working for the payer, he learned more of the business and reimbursement side of prosthetics.  Most recently, Tom was the practice manager for a local Hanger clinic in Orange County.

 

Headshot - Haley BranchHaley Branch, CPO – Haley is a graduate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics.  Haley completed her residencies at the University of Oklahoma Physicians and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oklahoma City.  She has worked with institutional and independent practices as well as Hanger Clinic.  Haley has experience with traumatic, traditional, and Ertl amputations in all age categories.  In 2014, Haley left clinical care to begin working with the manufacturing side of the industry.  She comes to Freedom Innovations after a Clinical Specialist position with Myomo where she focused on providing practitioner training and education, virtual appointment assistance, reimbursement, and product development.

M. Nelson PhotoMatthew Nelson, CPO – Matthew is an ABC certified prosthetist/orthotist and a Georgia licensed clinician.  He received his degree in Biology from Furman University in Greenville, SC, and on the same day, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.  Matthew was introduced to the field of orthotics and prosthetics in 1994, as a result of working as an orthotic fitter at a local medical supply company in Georgia.  He went on to earn his certificate in Orthotics and Prosthetics from Northwestern University Prosthetics and Orthotics Center in Chicago, IL.  He was previously with Hanger Clinic where he held several positions including Clinic Manager and Area Clinic Manager.  Matthew frequently presents to physical therapy clinics and various healthcare symposiums across the nation.  Since 2002, Matthew has been active in the Georgia Society of Orthotists and Prosthetists and previously has served as the President of the Society.  He has recently begun his career with Freedom Innovations and will serve as the company’s Senior Clinical Prosthetist and Coding/Reimbursement Manager.

Sarah StilleySarah Stilley, MS, MSPO, LCPO – Sarah joins Freedom Innovations after earning a Master of Science degree in Biomechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Science degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After graduation, Sarah completed her residency with the Hanger Clinic outside of Atlanta, GA, then transferred to be the Practice Manager of a clinic outside of Cleveland, OH. During clinical practice, Sarah worked with clients of all ages for O&P care, concentrating on upper and lower extremity prosthetics. With a strong background in research, Sarah hopes to help the industry in the development of evidence based practice and help Freedom Innovations stay on the cutting edge of technology.

Headshot Coryn ReichCoryn Reich, CP- Coryn is a Certified Prosthetist with 12 years of professional experience in the O&P industry.  Coryn started her O&P career in patient care working for Hanger Clinic, where she spent almost eight years in the St. Louis and Southern California markets.  From there, she moved over to the manufacturing side of the industry, working for Össur North America as a technical support specialist where she conducted product testing and new employee training.  Coryn started her career with Freedom Innovations in 2013 as Clinical Prosthetist of R & D and Education.  In this role, she focuses on the redevelopment and implementation of employee training and customer education.  She also provides clinical support for research and development in the design and testing of new products.

 


Technical Tip Videos

 

Plié 3 Battery Latch Replacement- A step-by-step demonstration is presented by CPO, David Hughes,  on how to properly replace the battery latch on a Plié 3 MPC Knee.

Heel Stiffening Bumpers – Watch as David Hughes, CPO, reviews the proper use and application of Freedom Innovations’ Heel Stiffening Bumpers.

 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FOOT PRODUCTS

The heel of my patient’s foot is too soft, but the toe stiffness is working well. How can I stiffen just the heel so it doesn’t compress as much?

Freedom foot products are shipped with heel stiffening bumpers.  When applied, the heel stiffness will increase by approximately by 1 category.  Learn more in this brief tutorial.

My patient came in reporting a squeaking noise coming from his prosthetic foot.  How can I resolve this?

•Inspect the foot cover for black marks which are evidence of the carbon foot module rubbing/contacting the foot shell excessively.  Apply a barrier if needed.
•Check sock for holes and excessive wear; replace as needed.
•Make sure the Spectra Sock extends above foot shell to prevent contact between the foot module and shell.
•If necessary, grind the foot shell to remove a small amount of material in the excessive contact area.
•Check componentry compatibility.

Where do you recommend placing the weight line to align a prosthesis that incorporates one of your prosthetic foot products?

As a starting point, we recommend placing the weight line just anterior of the pylon.  You can further optimize the prosthetic alignment from there, based on the needs of your individual patient.  Move the weight line anterior to stiffen the heel and soften the toe of the foot.  Move the weight line posterior to soften the heel and stiffen the toe.

My patient just broke/delaminated her foot.  Should I reorder the same stiffness category?

First, we recommend verifying the most appropriate stiffness category by weighing the patient to confirm current body weight.  It’s also important to have a discussion about daily activities, hobbies, sports, etc.  Refer this information to our Category Selection Chart which are product-specific to select the correct stiffness category.

If the foot delaminated prematurely and sooner than previously worn prosthetic foot products, we recommend ordering a foot that is one stiffness category higher.  This will help to ensure that the product is structurally sound and safe for higher impact loads if needed.

How do I choose the correct impact level for a patient to ensure the best stiffness category is ordered?

If a practitioner was asked if the patient being fitted was considered functionally to be at a “Low, Moderate, or High” activity level, they might respond Low is K1-K2, Moderate K2-K3 and High would be K3-K4. For our standard category selection guide, “low” activities include surfing and dancing, for example.  This is not “low” for prosthetic users in general, but “low” for K3 users as most of our products are designed for K-3 users.  If one chooses a “Moderate” or “High” activity level category foot, it will work well for the intended activity but might seem too stiff for normal walking. Most people start out in “Low” with our products and go up from there depending on the intended activity.

My patient states that the heel is too soft. What should I do?

Confirm the stiffness category ordered is correct for patient’s current weight. Refer to our Category Selection Chart.   Alignment is also critical. Please attempt to slide the socket forward over the foot to lengthen the heel lever.   You can also utilize the heel bumpers that came with the foot to stiffen the heel by approximately one stiffness category and further adjust stiffness as needed, without impacting  the function of the toe stiffness.

My patient states that the heel is too stiff. What should I do?

Confirm the stiffness category ordered is correct for patient’s current weight. Refer to our Category Selection Chart .  Alignment is also critical. Slide the socket posteriorly over the foot to shorten the heel lever, which will in turn soften the feel of the heel.

My patient states that the toe is too stiff. What should I do?

Slide the socket anteriorly over the foot to shorten the toe lever.  Confirm the stiffness category of the foot is correct.  Refer to our Category Selection Chart .

My patient states that the toe is too soft. What should I do?

Slide the socket posteriorly over the foot to lengthen the toe lever. Confirm the stiffness category of foot is correct.

 PLIÉ KNEE

How do I access the “Help” file when not connected to a knee via the computer?

The Plié set-up Help file can be viewed by accessing the Plié 6.0 software.  Click Help, when you get the dropdown menu click Help again. This will open the Help and Troubleshooting area.

When I try to search for a knee I get a message that says “No Microsoft Bluetooth Drivers Found.” What do I need to do to connect to the knee via BlueTooth?

You will likely need to update the drivers installed on your computer.

To update drivers on Windows 7:

When the “Dongle” is plugged in, you should see two things in the “Device Manager’s” “Bluetooth Devices” drop-down box. To get to the Device Manager – point the cursor at “Computer” in the “Start” menu and right click.  Left click on the drop down option ”Properties”. Left click on “Device Manger”- if you point at the “Bluetooth” icon, a drop down box should appear.

When the Freedom Innovations Dongle is plugged in, you should see two things – a “Generic Bluetooth Radio” and a “Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator.”

If these two things do not appear, do the following: (usually the “Bluetooth Radio” icon is present)

1) Right click on the “Generic Bluetooth Radio” icon and left click on “Update Driver Software”
2) Left click on “Browse My Computer for Driver Software”
3) Left click on “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”
4) Double click on “Generic Bluetooth Radio” and the driver will automatically update. If this does not make the two items listed above appear, try again.

Note: We have seen issues, especially with Toshiba laptops, where the Internal Bluetooth installed on the computer conflicts with our driver and will try to turn it off.  If you are experiencing this, go to the Device Manager, right click on the Internal Bluetooth and disable the Internal Bluetooth.