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Author: Larry Huppin, DPM Created: 9/10/2009 4:00 PM
ProLab is your source for information on foot scanners used in production of orthoses

By Larry Huppin, DPM on 8/22/2010 3:00 PM
For the past several weeks I have been testing a new scanner in my office. So far I am impressed with the functionality of the scanner. It’s not perfect, but the manufacturer has been very receptive to our suggestions.

Scanning – also known as digital casting – soon will likely be the most common method of capturing an image of the foot to produce custom foot orthoses.

We have evaluated over a dozen scanners and I have personally tested five of the better ones. Over the next several months we will be providing unbiased reviews of these and other scanners to help you decide whether you wish to use a scanner in your office, and if so, find the best one to serve your needs.

The first thing we did was to come up with the criteria any scanner must fulfill to be considered as a replacement for casting. We came up with the following 9 criteria that the ideal 3D optical scanner should have:

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By Larry Huppin, DPM on 10/29/2009 10:39 AM
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. In fact, foam box casts tend to produce such poor functional orthoses that
By Larry Huppin, DPM on 9/24/2009 4:00 PM
In the near future, optical foot scanners will replace plaster as the primary method of capturing the foot for production of functional orthoses.  We have spent a tremendous amount of time researching scanners over the past several years and have developed criteria which should be used in evaluating any scanner you are considering.  

I have an article published in the August issue of Lower Extremity Review that is essentially a consumer guide designed to help podiatrists evaluate scanners.  You can read the scanner article here.  

ProLab is the podiatric profession's best source for information on scanners.   We will be providing significant resources here ...
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