Orthotics are customized insoles that are placed in an individuals shoe to correct improper alignment or movement of the feet. Faulty bio mechanics of the feet can lead to pain and injury in the ankles, shins, knees, hips and low back as well as the feet.
Traditionally, custom orthotics were made by casting a plaster mold of the foot or by having the patient step into a block of foam to create an impression of the foot. While these methods have been used for many years they do have a number of drawbacks. Plaster casting is time consuming, can be very messy and can produce an inaccurate orthotic if the patient moves their foot at all before the plaster cures and hardens. The foam box method is prone to error as well if the patient does not step into the foam completely straight as they make the impression in the foam.
More recently some companies have begun to use static digital scanners to produce their orthotics. Unfortunately, these scanners produced a static image of the foot and do not account for variations present during regular movement of the foot.
The newest technology as found in the Footmaxx Metascan system allows us to take an accurate scan of the foot while walking or even running. The Footmaxx system scans the foot up to 150 times per second. It is this scanning speed that makes scanning the foot while walking or running possible. The Footmaxx Metascan Dynamic software interprets the dynamic weight bearing scanner data to assess the feet and fabricate a custom orthotic.
We are excited to have the Footmaxx Metascan at Redlands Spine & Sport. The ability to produce these accurate high quality orthotics will be a benefit to many of our current and future patients. This scanner will provide us with objective data to help determine whether a patient is a candidate for orthotics or whether another treatment modality is more appropriate for them.
While many athletes benefit from orthotics, they are just as important for anyone who spends a great deal of time on their feet, especially on hard surfaces.