New technology brings new possibilities.

Our practice uses 3D scanning which is the very latest in imaging and impression technology. 3D scanning provides real time images of the exact contours and profiles of the body, head or limbs. The data gathered from the scan is then used to accurately design a brace or a prosthetic socket and allows us to apply the exact amount of correction force required to gain the result we wish to achieve. 3D scanning also allows us to simulate the action of a brace, splint or prosthetic socket giving the patient an optimum fit and leaving very little margin for error. That translates to less visits for adjustments or fine tuning, saving the patient time and money.

Traditionally we have used conventional assessment and measuring methods, such as Plaster of Paris moulds, or even low-temperature thermo-plastic moulding directly onto the patient. 3D scanning allows us to capture and replicate an exact image of just about any part of the body – much like Plaster of Paris, however, the images are easily stored and can be kept indefinitely. This gives the advantage of being able to refer to previous images in order to detect changes – improvements or deterioration in the particular patient’s condition. A 3D image can also be ‘imported’ into myriad software programs, which allow for modifications of the image, or simulation of the action of the brace on the body or affected part.

3D imaging software also allows for detailed analysis of the data such as high pressure areas, angles of joints, or comparison of the affected part compared to the normal value for that part.

The images from a 3D scan can also be shared with other healthcare professionals where further opinion about the condition or simulated action of the orthosis is required. This is also helpful when medical aid or insurance require motivation for the appliance/device. Furthermore, once an orthosis has been designed using a 3D scan another scan can be done in order to compare the original image with the new image with the appliance in position.

3D scanning does not use radiation or any harmful energy beam and is quick and simple to do.

See more about foot scanning and pressure analysis in the foot orthotics section.


Most frequent questions and answers

3D scanning devices allow an Orthotist-Prosthetist to capture the exact size and dimension of any part of the patient’s body in life size dimensions and proportions. This gives an even more accurate replication of the shape and proportions of limbs or trunk than any other type of impression method (such as casting). Casting my easily be distorted, or may compress tissue and give a false rendition of the limb or trunk. This will lead to inaccurate or poor fitting devices.

No. A scanner is just like a camera and simply captures exactly what it ‘sees’. There are no harmful waves of energy or radiation.  Once the image has been captured by a scanner, it can then be transferred into a software program and the technician will be able to manipulate the replication to achieve the optimum form, shape or correction, and create a virtual ‘person’ on a computer. The software is able to simulate the action of the device being manufactured, so that it the prosthetist can see exactly what effect the device he is making will have. If the simulation model fails, the design is simply re-done until the desired outcome is obtained. This then forms the basis of the device to be manufactured and fitted.

The images and designs are stored and can be recalled at any time, unlike a cast or mould which will be destroyed once the device has been made.  A replica or repeat of the device can be made years after the original. Should the condition of the patient or shape of the limb/trunk change over time, a new scan can be done and compared to the original shape and design.