In April we had the privilege of attending the International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics conference in New York. This conference is held every two years and brings some of the world’s best foot and ankle researchers together to discuss recent developments. It was exciting to get to meet many of the researchers that had written the papers and books that we’ve read and from which we have learnt so much (and ok, being in New York was great too!).
There were over 170 people attending and it was an intense three days, with lots of great talks to listen to which ranged from new foot surgery techniques to minimalist footwear for runners. Of course, the highlight for us was the special session dedicated to the “paediatric foot”. This was the first time the conference had dedicated time to talking about children’s feet. Dr Carina Price led the session and Dr Juliet McClymont did a great presentation with results from the data we have been collecting here at Salford and Brighton.
The main speaker for the children’s session was Professor Karen Adolph, a developmental psychologist who runs a children research unit at New York University. She brought to light how children’s gait is unpredictable and highlighted that this should be considered while studying how walking develops in infants and children. We cannot restrict them to walking in a straight line like we can adults, because it doesn’t represent what an infant would normally do. It was a refreshing talk that challenged many of the assumptions we often make in our research and focused on researching a real world understanding of how children walk.
The conference was hectic but interesting. We learnt a lot in just three days. New York was also a great place to visit and was a wonderful introduction to how conferences contribute to better research across the world.
We are now back in the Baby Space and our research continues. Please get in-touch to volunteer for our research or for more information.