888-204-4447 or 813-517-8740

Student Blog

Bryce Dahl – IIOP Student Blog, March 15, 2021

Mock prostheses, KAFO’s and Khaida our furry amputee!

March 15, 2021

The past few weeks have been action packed here at IIOP as we’ve gone from learning the the ability to metal bend our own KAFO’s, “harnessing” the power of our body-powered mock prostheses, and taking on the challenge of casting, and fabricating a prosthetic puppy socket for our new furry patient, Khaida!

The KAFO’s were a labor of love over the course of several days but in total everyone did a great job staying calm and patient as the uprights came together with the proper contours. Sometimes feet can fall off molds (I learned the hard way) if not careful with plaster reductions/buildups.

The transradial mock prostheses allowed us to learn the fabrication process of transradial prosthetics without a transradial patient model. A figure 8 harness was used for voluntary opening of the hook and we had a lot of fun learning the intricacies of body powered operation.



Classmate Alex Miller ran into our newest IIOP patient, Khaida one day at his apartment dog park. Khaida is a 10 year old husky mix with a right transtibial amputation (congenital-umbilical related). Khaida is a sweet girl but struggled with the casting primary due to her not being comfortable with hoomans touching her residual limb. Alex did a great job casting and made it easy for myself to move forward with pouring and modifying the mole. I will be using Khaida as a subject for my clinical research assignment due in April, but I am excited to experiment with a few generations of sockets for her and will make sure the best one is delivered!

So far Khaida has been fit with her first socket and has been able to bare weight, walk, and even run for short distances on her first ever prosthesis! Updates to come, thanks for reading!


Read more

Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – March 15, 2021

Namaste. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

Disclaimer: In these pictures, it may look like I am struggling, but I am not. This orthosis actually gives great support, hence why I have my thumbs up lol. 

This week we started a new class, Orthotic Management of the Spine. So far, we have learned about the different types of spinal orthoses and which kinds are used for which pathologies. There are so many variations characterized by design, organization, where the pathology or fracture is located (ex. Lumbar fractures, cervical, etc.) and so much more. Surprisingly, it is easy to grasp the concepts about how the material can help prevent any further damages to the spine, or which orthoses will be for the lower spine versus the ones that are for the cervical area or thoracic spine, just by looking at the orthotic device when it is placed on a patient. We got to try on some of the orthoses on our peers and move with them to see what types of orthoses will prevent those movements. I’m not going to lie, I think I need a spinal orthosis for myself. I kind of like the LSO because it’s comfortable. It’s the support for me lol.

I can’t wait to dig deeper! Peace and love.


Read more

Savanna Stumpf– IIOP Student Blog – March 8, 2021

February Recap – – Semester 1

2 months down, 14 months to go! With midterms right around the corner, my classmates and I have really started to crack down on our studying.  We are all definitely feeling the pressure to do well, being that these exams will be our first big tests of the semester; The first big tests at IIOP in general actually. With that being said, we all are just longing to do well to prove our worth at school and feel that first big success leading us into our futures.

This past month has been a lot like the first. Learning, learning, and more learning. It has been exciting though because now that we have a small grasp on the basics, we can start weening our way into more hands-on work. For example, I would say we all have a pretty good grasp on lower extremities at this point in the semester. So, in lab, we were able to palpate and test those muscles on one another while learning about pathologies and abnormalities we may come across in the field. Fortunately, my classmates and I are all pretty average, so we just palpated and tested muscle function with one another. Dr.O has been an amazing help with all of this, as well, with her past experience and special talent to make us all feel at ease and comfortable. Because if we are being honest, as great as friends we have all become to be, it can be a little weird basically throwing your classmates leg over your shoulder to test that ROM of the hip ya know.

Another exercise we have all really been enjoying on top of lecture is practicing taking patient history. We have been doing this more in a group setting to help bounce ideas off of one another and give helpful criticism on what we did well verses what we could improve on. It also gives a bit of free range to loosen up and take on a role as a fifty-year-old with adhesive capsulitis or an eight-year-old with osteomyelitis. (Not to name any names, but some people are definitely better actors than others lol – – although I think my classmates all know that)

On top of lecture and lab though, we did get a really special treat this past month. Being that IIOP has P&O clinic within its facility, we were allowed to sit in and observe a patient receiving a brand-new leg for a recent amputation. For me especially, it brought me back to my happy place. Seeing someone so thankful and overjoyed takes you to a state of what I can only describe as “pure.” I had been feeling so stressed with school and the worries of not preforming well on my upcoming exams, and this one patient visit was the perfect reminder of why I am here and that this stress is worth it in the end. This is something I will forever be thankful for with IIOP because I do not believe we would have been graced with this little moment anywhere else. 

If I can leave you with anything from this quick blog, let it be remembered that “Every good thing you do creates ripples that you may not see. Do them anyway.” – Unknown


Savanna Stumpf

Read more

Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – March 1, 2021

What’s up peoples! I hope you had a wonderful week. T’was fun for me.

On Monday we started our Total Surface Bearing socket casting, which is supposed to be a much easier socket than the one we did last week. This time, we met with a new patient model who had three amputations (one on his left arm, two lower limb) and I found him truly inspiring. Me and my group members were more interested in his story and started our casting late lol. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we did the cast pouring and alignment for the cast. This time I did not make a chisel mark on the side of my socket, so it was a success.  On Thursday, Blatchford Orthotist and Prosthetist came in and talked about the different types of hydraulic feet and how they work. In the afternoon, our patient models came back for the fitting, while we used Blatchford’s Hydraulic ankles for the foot component. The ankle adjustment was most definitely more challenging than using a regular SACH foot, but it was very rewarding to see the outcome. It feels like everything I am learning here is starting to come together.

Ok, I have a final next Tuesday, goodbye… for now.

Adaeze O. Mbagwu

Read more

Bryce Dahl – IIOP Student Blog, 2/17/2021

We’re already halfway through the month of February and learning so much from Mr. Mahairas! It’s been a busy semester as we’ve recently learned how to fit fracture braces, identify proper bracing using various joints and mechanisms, and back to the lab fabricating our ground reaction ankle foot orthotics (GRAFOs). This week we will be casting each other and learning the trying trials of fabricating our own knee ankle foot orthotics! More to come from the class of 2021


GRAFO Photos!

Read more

Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – February 16, 2021

Annyeonghaseyo (meaning hello in Korean)! It would have been better if I knew Hangul or the Korean alphabet more. I hope everyone had an awesome week. And congratulations to the Bucs for winning the Super Bowl! Yayyy!

It’s the fifth week into the semester and things are moving quickly. Time is flying by. Graduation and board exams are tomorrow. Just kidding. This week felt short and long at the same time. We were only in class for 3 days of the week, but the days were long, and also felt short because we were super busy and focused on our project, you know what I mean? This week we finally met with our patient models and I enjoyed every minute of it, even the struggle parts lol. I met with a super nice patient model who had their right leg amputated due to some complications. One thing that really touched my heart when meeting the patient model was the positivity. It made me want to become a practitioner that gives hope to their patients and gives them strength to carry on.  After meeting with our patient models and casting their limbs, the next day we poured our cast to form the shape of the patient’s leg. LeOnny Davinci was back and ready to turn these pour cast into beautifully, sculptured limbs. We did a few modifications on the cast and then created the sockets. I am so excited to see how the sockets turn out despite mess ups and I am also excited to practice more with casting and pouring in the future.  This was a great learning experience for me.

I will see ya later. Bye… for now.

-Onny/ LeOnny da Vinci

Read more

Savanna Stumpf– IIOP Student Blog – February 12, 2021

Week 5 – – Semester 1

Another week, another post! I’m not sure about you, but for some reason this just felt like the longest week.

This week in Pathology, we really focused on how to talk about different abnormalities on a practitioner-patient/parent basis. While we may be getting tested on these pathologies in more of a scientific way in class, not every brain processes “a localized congenital abnormality leading to a lateral curvature of the spine and surrounding tissues” as scoliosis. In order to work on this skill, we were assigned to make a pamphlet or some type of information guide, that would help aid us in the future. While all 5 of us students made wonderful pamphlets, we were extra fortunate that our good ole classmate Ian Reyes wrote a rap to perform as well. So, if you are ever in dire need of learning about Cranial Disproportion, just call up Ian and ask for a little performance.

To wrap the week up, we finished with our gait class. While we started off with lecture in the morning, we moved onto a lab assessment in the afternoon. Since our class is called gait analysis, it was only right we do a lab assessing each of our gaits. Each of my classmates chalked the bottom of our feet with blue chalk and walked across 15 feet of paper. From there, we took different measurements and compared between all of us. We even got the opportunity to include data from Mrs.Crawford, and turns out she is the slowest walker of us all! Had to throw her under the bus!

Happy Mardi Gras weekend!!


Savanna Stumf

Read more

Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – February 5, 2021

Kedu ka ị mere? As we say in the Igbo language meaning “how are you?”. I hope everyone had a wonderful week! Black History month started, and this weekend is also exciting because the super bowl is this Sunday! What team are you rooting for?

Anyways, of course, we like to get down to business here at IIOP. Clinical rotations and graduation are around the corner and there is no time for play. Well maybe graduation is a couple of blocks away, but you get the gist. We started the new course learning about prosthetics, which I am super excited about! It was nice to know how the prostheses are made based on K-levels or how active the amputee is. We also did some more patient evaluation because it is super important to know what to say to a patient, and how to describe the procedures. Most importantly because next week, we will be working with patient models. We also learned how to wrap a patient’s limb with ACE bandages and carefully put on shrinker socks. We covered topics relating to different foot and ankle amputations and all of the cool prosthetics that can help with patients’ balance. I did not know that big toe amputations can affect the patient’s balance. So, they make prosthetic toes to assist their walking. I think that is awesome.

While y’all watch Super Bowl, I will probably be studying and waiting for the halftime performance.

Anyi g’afu! (meaning ‘See you later’ in Igbo) Bye!


Read more

Savanna Stumpf– IIOP Student Blog – February 5, 2021

Week 4 – – – IIOP

First Semester

First month down of my cohorts first semester! It has definitely been an adjusting process for me and my 4 classmates as we are getting used to the graduate school life. We are currently enrolled in four classes: Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Neuroanatomy, and Clinical Gait Analysis. Lots of information to keep up with, but having a cohort of 5 keeps us all on our toes and really pushes one another to keep up (even when we just want to go home and watch all the movies we talk about at lunch).

Pathology has definitely been one of my favorite classes. Learning about different abnormalities a person can have has made me a bit of a people watcher outside of school. I am now quick to catch any major genu varus abnormality or a pelvic tilt. But it is not just me! Every now and then, the phone buzzes with a message from our group chat that someone has spotted something new.

Finally, we had our first assessment in our Gait Analysis course. Come to find out, I have a slight anterior pelvic tilt and Peter has a depressed right shoulder. Who would’ve known?

Happy Superbowl weekend!!


Savanna Stumpf

Read more

Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – February 1, 2021

Bonjour!  I hope everyone had a wonderful week. When coming down to Florida, I thought that it would never get cold down here… but I stand corrected. Good thing I brought my heavy jackets back with me from winter break. Don’t judge me.

This week was very eventful. We started our clinical evaluation tools class on Monday and ended it with a written and practical examination on Friday. This was one of the fastest classes I have ever taken. Because this semester is more hands-on and we will be meeting with patient models, we practiced how to speak to patients, the proper way to ask for patient demographics, info and how to address them and their needs. We then got right into learning and performing active and passive range of motion tests on patients (which was our peers for now) and manual muscle testing. It was a lot of information, but I feel like it will help a lot when learning about what orthotic devices will be beneficial for the patient pertaining to what type of assistance they will need like dorsiflexion weakness or contractures. My favorite tests were the special tests because they were fun, and it was funny to watch some of my peers march around with their eyes closed.

Two classes down, 3 more to go, then clinical rotations. Bye for now.


Read more