February 22nd, 2010

Biomechanical Orthotic

Biomechanical Evaluation Enters a New Era

Worldwide, many millions of people suffer continuously from various forms of foot and ankle pain. The effect of such pain, while rarely life threatening, can certainly be life altering, especially if endured in the long term. Correction of foot and lower limb disorders is presently undertaken either by Orthopaedics, physiotherapy, or the supply of prescription orthoses. Clearly, physiotherapy cannot correct an osseous biomechanical problem if that is the underlying cause. Similarly, surgery may be limited depending on the site and type of deformity involved. When the problem is biomechanical in origin, prescription orthoses can often offer a complete long term solution, although, severe cases may require a combination of surgery and mechanical aftercare.

Prescription orthoses are often judged to give minimal improvements, yet well prescribed and accurate devices carry a very high success rate. Observation shows that experienced practitioners will generally achieve good results. However, the less experienced usually offer different prescriptions and, therefore, obtain varying degrees of success for the same patient. This must mean that many prescriptions are not appropriate.

Where a biomechanical abnormality is involved, all the above deficiencies in diagnosis and prescription stem not from the inadequacies of biomechanics as a subject but in its practical application. A lot of assessment is based on the practitioner’s visual observations or measurements when the patient is at rest. Even with today’s mature technology, only a few assessments are done using video but these are very often are not scientific or consistent enough for accurate 3D imaging.

Orthomed Worldwide Ltd has been researching this whole subject for a number of years and it has ultimately developed a scanning unit that captures dynamic compensation and gait using a series of synchronised high-speed video cameras. The patient is guided through a series of dynamic tests that numerically determines the patient’s angular and linear make up which allows the laboratory to determine the patient’s deviation from that considered normal. This precise information provides a firm basis for diagnosis and correction of the patient’s underlying condition.

The equipment removes the art and practitioner skill that were hitherto required to make a patient assessment. Biomechanics has been rendered to a numerical science. Using this equipment, the assessment will be the same wherever and by whomever the tests are carried out (just like going to the optician, the prescription is the same wherever you go).

There are huge implications arising from this numerical precision, medico-legal cases will no longer be the subject of opinion, the severity of a condition can now be defined, post operative treatments and improvements can be quantified. In addition, many expensive surgical procedures may be deemed unnecessary and alternative treatments followed. Most importantly, the patient should get the most appropriate treatment with a much increased likelihood of satisfaction. Medical practitioners can also benefit from these advances, having the confidence that it is offering precise cost effective treatments whose efficacy can be subsequently measured.

If you would like to know more about the revolutionary Orthoscanner System, then please visit our website at http://www.orthomedsystems.com


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