As demand for scanning clients increases, we are expanding our resources to support Podiatrists get the most out of this emerging technology. Here are our top four tips to getting great orthotics for your patients from scans.
At QOL, we’ve been big advocates of taking a good impression of the patient’s feet dating right back to our roots in 1985. It’s critical that this is done correctly, as everything flows from this starting point. Whilst some may have you believe that they can digitally ‘dial in’ intrinsic forefoot valgus into a scan that doesn’t have it, the truth is, it’s a guessing game. There is no computer model to accurately determine and replicate the 3-dimensional changes that occur in each patient’s foot as the ‘plate twists’ – that is, the forefoot pronating on the rearfoot.
If you want orthotics that are comfortable to wear and match the patient’s anatomical morphology, getting the foot scanned in correct position is a must. ScanMate allows you to hold the foot in STJ neutral with the MTJ fully pronated with the patient either prone or supine. So no need to get the patient to hold still while they contract their tibialis anterior and create a false forefoot supinatus. Get the foot in the right position with ScanMate.
Once you’ve taken the scan, take the time to review it to ensure you’ve captured all the relevant landmarks. With the Structure Sensor from Occipital, you can take a true 3D scan which captures:
- Plantar contours, even in the most cavus feet
- Medial contours including the tip of the medial malleolus
- Lateral contours including the tip of the lateral malleolus
- Posterior heel
- Capturing these landmarks ensures we can accurately align the heel to vertical (or inverted/everted from that position), accurately measure the forefoot to rearfoot relationship (and intrinsically correct that in the shell) and individually measure foot lengths, and widths at the heel, midfoot and forefoot. From there we can assess if the feet match, or if there are subtle difference between the left and right feet. If the feet are asymmetrical (which is often the case), this is reported back to you in MyQOL and the orthotics will reflect any asymmetry.
At QOL, we’ve always been a big believer that the treating podiatrist should have complete control over the prescription. You’ve conducted a thorough assessment of the patient so you’re in the best position to determine what the patient needs. So on the prescription form you won’t see a simple check box for ‘dress orthotics’ or ‘sports orthotics’ as we believe this leaves too much guess work in the lab’s hands. Rather, you can determine things like shell material, shell thickness, heel cup height, shell shape and top cover just to name a few.
We’ve made the whole process simple to follow through our online portal – MyQOL. Importantly MyQOL has the highest level of security so you can rest assured that your information and patient data are securely stored. You can also track your order so you can see when to expect the orthotics back to your clinic.
We’ve simplified this process in MyQOL. Simply select the patient from the drop-down menu of past patients. You can then select to copy the previous prescription or start from scratch again. If you copy the previous prescription, you can still adjust any part of the prescription. So when your patient is happy with their orthotics, it’s a few simple clicks to prescribe them subsequent pairs.