Hype vs. Hope

Hope is the basis for rehabilitation. When there is hope, the potential for improvement is strong. The potential to improve is inherent in each person. Optimal outcomes are the result of a combination of factors provided through technology and treatment. Modern technology offers the promise of a brighter future but materials and devices alone do not automatically improve function.

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.

The potential to improve the ability to walk efficiently is great today compared with the past. The hope for a better future is real. Education and understanding will separate hope from hype. Be informed. Get the facts. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You deserve answers!