In the coming months and years, we predict that 3-D optical foot scanning will replace plaster casting as the method of choice for capturing foot shape for production of functional foot orthoses. We also predict that there is great potential for laser scanning of the feet to result in better casts and, subsequently, better orthoses.
Digital imaging of the feet will result in better orthoses primarily because plaster is a difficult material to work with. Plaster is slippery, wet, soft, slimy and takes a long time to dry. If not dry, it bends out of shape easily when being removed from the feet. In addition, because it takes a long time to dry, some practitioners have staff take the casts. This usually results in a less than optimal cast. Others resort to using foam boxes, which have been shown in several studies to cause excessive varus to be captured in the cast and, ultimately, the orthoses.
***Medford Foot and Ankle Clinic is proud to incorporate 3D digital imaging for fabrication of functional foot orthotics. Technology does make a difference***