Good Impressions

There are many ways to cast a patient capturing the natural shape of their foot in a desired position. There are a lot of theories and discussion on what is the best method of casting for custom foot orthoses. One thing everyone can agree on is a good foot impression is critical to the finished product.


One of the many casting options is a weight bearing foam impression where you have a patient standing with their weight equally dispersed between both feet. Using this method gives you a 50% weight bearing impression not a full weight bearing impression.


Have them hold the back of a chair that can be placed on the same side as the foot being cast. This will provide extra support while you lift their foot into the impression foam maintaining the desired position. You want to ensure they don’t lift the opposite foot and fully load the foot that’s in the foam creating a full weight bearing cast.

Indications for a weight bearing casting method can be:

  • An accommodative device if desired
  • A cavus foot that you want to avoid added inversion
  • You want to capture the natural arch shape and extrinsically post the final device reducing cast modification
  • You have difficulty pressing a larger foot into foam
  • Ordering custom sandals
  • Non compliant patients

As you can see this one simple standing method, using impression foam has
many indications. Having a good understanding of the numerous casting
methods and their indications improves orthotic therapy outcomes by
diversity in your treatment protocol.

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