Technology in medicine is changing rapidly. Recently, we've been able to add three-dimensional gait analysis and 3D printed orthotics. Up until now, we've had 3D imaging of the feet and I didn't expect it to be available, but here it is.
The first step in creating 3D printed orthotics is the three-dimensional analysis. We perform a static, standing exam and a walking exam that takes input from the patient’s weight, pressure during walking, and puts that all together to give us the 3D image.
From this, we can look the patient walking in slow motion and look at the differences between the left and right feet. That information goes into the prescription of a 3D printed orthotic.
Advantage of 3D Printed Orthotics
So, what are the advantages of the 3D printed orthotic? Up until now, when I needed to make a correction in the back, middle, or the front of the orthotic various additions, and subtractions, and cut-aways would have to be done either during manufacturing or afterwards.
Now, with 3D printing, we’re able to add materials that flex differently at heel strike and then change the composition of the material as needed throughout the rest of the orthotic. This cuts down the labor and improves the results.
The 3D printed orthotic is easy in terms of getting an analysis. It's quick and the information is understandable. First, we scan the patient’s feet to produce a colored image of where the pressure falls when they’re standing still. Then the patient walks across a mat and the system will take an average of just a few short steps, analyze the data, and give us a dynamic picture of where the pressures fall.
To find out if 3D Printed Orthotics are right for you, contact us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.