Striving to achieve the highest standards in orthotic manufacturing, MASS4D® customised foot orthotics are fabricated employing 3D casting techniques which help in the exact duplication of the plantar anatomy of the foot.
To obtain this level of accuracy in the depiction of the foot’s morphology, specialised foam boxes are used to create semi-weightbearing impressions that mimic the patient’s healthy stance phase of gait.
This is because for a foot orthotic to be truly customised, it needs to be able to allow for the gravitational soft tissue displacement that occurs throughout all phases of gait.
With a variety of reliable 3D casting techniques such as plaster moulding, digital scanning and pin matrix system available in the foot orthotics market, Guldemond et al. sought to analyse differences in plantar pressure distribution resulting from four casting methods for foot orthoses.
Differences between custom-made foot orthoses made from foam impressions and plaster impressions were evaluated in terms of contact area, plantar pressures, gait lines and walking convenience.
All four casting techniques were observed – to increase total contact areas and to lower peak pressures during walking.
Foam box casting, however, was determined to result in larger contact areas than plaster methods due to the soft-tissue expansion that occurred during loading in the foam box.
Walking convenience was also better rated in orthoses that were made by foam box casting than by plaster casting; the authors attributed this to the more natural curvatures that are the result of weightbearing during foam box casting.
Based on these findings, the authors preferred foam box casting for the construction of accommodative and functional orthoses because of the ease of use and cleaning, in addition to being less expensive than the other techniques.
MASS4D® focuses on gaining better insight into the anatomy of the foot by manufacturing orthotics that are both corrective and ideal to the patient’s anatomy thereby producing top-quality products which continue to grow in popularity in the market.
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