San Diego, CA, USA
Friday 12th October 2012
Each year, DJO Global, a provider of medical devices & rehabilitation products, invite a group of foot & ankle specialists to their headquarters in Vista (just outside San Diego), to foster their relationship, provide education & listen to their thoughts on the products they use.  Last year, I was invited to attend & present to the group on physiotherapeutic perspectives of the management of foot & ankle conditions.

This year, just as I was packing my bags to leave for New York, I had an invitation for the corresponding event & I was delighted to accept.  I have always found DJO to be a very friendly company & since my first meetings with Heiko van Vliet working with the Compex machines, they have always been able to help me improve my practice when called upon.  Last year's event was a real opportunity for me to discuss approaches to treatment & rehabilitation with some very experienced surgeons & whilst I learnt a lot from the lectures given by James Calder & Pete Rosenfeld, I was able to present my management approach to the assessment & rehabilitation of functional ankle instability.  

The visit this year was lead by Ben Austen & Pieter Verwey, with John Martin leading the operation on the American side.  Whilst I arrived on Wednesday morning after an overnight flight from Hawai'i, the rest of the group were heading off to the manufacturing facility in Mexico.  By the time they returned, everyone was ready for a feed & so I caught up with the group for supper...the common characteristics of a foot & ankle consultant seem to be a sociable, relaxed attitude to good work, with a preference for discussion over good food & a cheeky drink, so it always makes for a good night!

The group included practitioners from Ireland, the south of England & Sheffield, whilst James & Pete gave the lectures as they have for the past 5 years.  The topics discussed in the lectures were then consolidated with cadaveric arthroscopic & dissection work in the labs, which I find really reinforces what you learn.  I was particularly interested in the relationship between the Achilles, plantaris & flexor hallucis longus this year, given some of the recent presentations that I have managed in athletics & James gave a dedicated presentation on the topic.

I presented on the conservative management of Achilles tendinopathy, based around my practice in addition to the updated research I heard about in Vancouver at the International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium & the workshop that Jill Cook & Craig Purdam presented at the same event.  If you click on the link below, you will be able to access the PDF of that presentation & please feel free to contact me if you have any questions as the slides are obviously just a framework for what we discussed.

It has been a fantastic two days & I would like to thank John, Ben, Pieter, Mike (Mogul) & Cheresse (Edwards) for their hard work & hospitality in addition to James, Pete & Alex (Wee) for the excellent presentations they gave.  The group has been a great forum for discussion with everyone offering valuable debate, as well as providing great company over dinner!

Tomorrow, I'm heading with James, Carolyn (Chadwick) & Bob (Elliot) to Miramar, which is the US Naval Air Base (where Top Gun was filmed) for an air show of immense proportions, by all accounts!  I feel the need, the need for speed...

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