Embracing Additive Manufacture: Implications for Foot and Ankle Orthosis DesignBy Telfer, Scott; Pallari, Jari; Munguia, Javier; Dalgarno, Kenny; McGeough, Martin; Woodburn, Jim; BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Volume 13, Number 84
Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Article provides a brief overview of additive manufacture (AM) technology with reference to ankle and foot orthosis fabrication. AM technology, where objects are constructed via a series of sub-millimeter layers of a substrate material, is defined as a means of producing novel orthotic devices that are highly personalized for the individual in terms of fit and functionality. Two novel devices were developed and fabricated using AM: (1) a foot orthosis (FO) designed to include adjustable elements to relieve pressure at the metatarsal heads; these elements and their corresponding holes in the FO are threaded to allow easy height adjustment using a screwdriver; and (2) a dynamic ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) designed to have adjustable stiffness levels in the sagittal plane and consisting of AM components including a shank section, strut, foot section, and slider. The devices were tested on a healthy participant to determine if the intended biomedical modes of action were achieved. The adjustable, pressure relieving FO was found to be able to significantly reduce pressure under the targeted metatarsal heads. The AFO was shown to have distinct effects on ankle kinematics which could be varied by adjusting the stiffness level of the device.
Published by: BioMed Central Ltd (Website:http://www.biomedcentral.com)
Link to text: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2474-13-84.pdf