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Wheelchair Seating Assessment: Positioning the Lower Extremities

presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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What is addressed in wheelchair positioning after the pelvis and trunk? The lower extremities. The goals of positioning the legs are to achieve a neutral alignment, when possible, or accommodate range limitations if not. This course will systematically address potential lower extremity positioning challenges with suggested interventions. By specifically positioning the legs, the seating system provides stability, function and even protection from injury.

Meet Your Instructor

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Michelle is an occupational therapist with more than 30 years of experience in the area of assistive technology. She is the former clinical director of the Assistive Technology Clinics of the Children's Hospital of Denver and has been in private practice at Access to Independence, Inc., for more than 15 years. Michelle's work in assistive…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Positioning Lower Extremities: Hips

This chapter will present positioning challenges seen at the hips, possible causes and suggested strategies to correct to neutral, if flexible. Goals of correcting this asymmetry will also be presented which can, in turn, be used as justification for seating interventions in documentation. Addressing positioning needs at the hips increases stability and function.

2. Positioning the Lower Extremities: Knees

This chapter will address positioning challenges at the knees, possible causes, suggested solutions and goals. Addressing positioning needs at the knees facilitates overall posture, promotes stability and may ease transfers and maneuverability of the wheelchair.

3. Positioning the Lower Extremities: Ankle and Foot

This chapter will address ankle and foot range limitations, including causes, suggested solutions and goals of correction. Positioning the foot accommodates loss of range and protects the foot, as well as providing stability.

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