- Pressure Plate Technology
- Plaster Cast Technology
- Crush Foam Technology
Gait Pressure Plate Technology
Dr. Kenney uses the most advanced office-based technology to evaluate and measure the motion of a patient’s foot and to determine which is the best orthotic for the patient.
In addition to physically examining the foot and ankle, he evaluates the biomechanical function of the foot both statically and when it is in motion. Measurements may be made with various physical instruments including one of the most modern and accurate pressure plate analysis system available to doctors in private practice today. This system measures not only the pressure points seen in a scanner based image of your feet in weight bearing, but also reports the timing and location of pressure changes during the weight bearing phases of gait. This allow the doctor to make determinations about the best accomodations to build into your orthotic to get the best possible correction to your gait problems. This information is not available from a scanner based analysis of your feet while in a static standing position alone.
During this computer assisted gait analysis, the patient’s weight bearing is measured in four quadrants. This allows Dr. Kenney to see if the patient is carrying their body weight too far forward or backwards or if their weight has shifted to the left or the right.
As with a scanner based analysis, the pressure plate shows all the areas of pressure in the foot and any loss of arch height during a static weight bearing scan.
In additon, this instrument also measures the patient's foot in motion and allows the doctor to evaluate where and when weight transfer occurs in the gait cycle. This is critical information to have if the best possible corrective orthotic is to be made for the patient.
The computer captured information is combined with the doctor’s physical findings, diagnosis of the underlying problem, and the patient’s lifestyle and treatment goals to determine how the orthotic is to be manufactured, and which orthotic model is correct for the individual patient’s needs.
Plaster casting of the foot, in what is called “sub-talar neutral,” was the gold standard in measurement for orthotics for years. In this technique, the back of the foot near the heel is held in a neutral position and a plaster cast of the foot is made. This cast is then sent to the lab where it is measured. These measurements, along with the doctor’s in-office measurements and prescription, are then used to determine how the orthotic is to be manufactured. While still widely used, this is no longer current state of the art technology. Occasionally, it may still be necessary to make a plaster cast, in addition to using the gait plate technology, to build the most effective orthotic. This is a decision the doctor must make after examining the patient’s foot.
Biofoam Crush Box CastsBiofoam crush box casting is very much like plaster casting. The foot is positioned and held in subtalar neutral while it is pressed into the biofoam, thereby making a casting of the foot. This is then sent to the lab where it is combined with other information provided by the doctor to manufacture the correct orthotic. This too is no longer state of the art technology having been replaced by gait plate technology. Occasionally, it may be necessary to perform a biofoam cast, in addition to using the gait plate technology, to make the most effective orthotic. This is a decision the doctor must make after examining the patient’s foot.