Hype vs. Hope
There are many choices available today. This represents the good news as well as the bad news. With so many options, marketing has replaced science. Manufactures want to sell their products. Professionals and patients alike are being bombarded with information. Information can be based upon scientific facts or opinion. Marketing has blurred this distinction. It is a very powerful method because it focuses on hope.
Hope must lead to a positive outcome. False hope can lead to unfulfilled potential and despair. The difference must be established early on before treatment begins. What is the best? This is not as important as what is best for you? What we need to know is what can realistically be accomplished for each individual. The ads are positive because they demonstrate what is possible. What they don’t say is what it takes to achieve these goals. A brace or prosthesis is only a device. It must become a part of you to work like it does in the ads.
Marketing must be replaced with education. Technology must be applied to each person on an individual basis according to his or her needs and requirements. Treatment and training specific to the technology applied will enhance the outcome. Education leads to understanding. Understanding provides the ability to make informed decisions regarding treatment. Active participation in treatment should replace passive acceptance. Realistic goals can be achieved through commitment and effort. Unrealistic goals will fail.