Plantography appeared as a result of the discovery of a close connection between the condition of feet and the entire musculoskeletal system. Numerous researches prove that the foot is quite a complex geometrical body. Beside the locomotor function it fulfills the cushioning function and it is constantly loaded at motion. If its shape changes, its functionality gets reduced and this affects the functioning of knee and coxofemoral joints, lumbar vertebrae and spine. Scientists also noted a reverse interconnection: if there are problems with the locomotor system, the foot has an extra load which causes its deformity. Plantography informs us of such modifications. This method has a long story: from examination of wet foot prints on the floor to using computer technologies to get plantographic images of the foot.
Types of PlantographyThere are two main types of plantography: ordinary (classic) and computer plantography.
The classic method implies direct and indirect ways of getting foot prints on paper. The foot is covered with special coloring substances like (vaseline, brilliant green, etc.). Indirect method implies covering the pad of the device with stamping ink. A piece of paper and a special frame with a polyvinyl chloride film are placed on top. Then the patient steps on the film and the foot is outlined by the outliner. The result of the projection a distinct print. After that a graphic analysis and calculations are carried out and a medical report is made.
In order to get a more effective foot examination computer plantography is used. Digital diagnostics with direct scanning allows getting distinct images (without size distortions). The program analyses and calculates the parameters, indexes and angles which help detect various disorders and type of flat-footedness. Computer diagnostics allows getting no only quick quality calculations but also scanning in three projections.
Nowadays classic plantography is rarely used though some still prefer this time-tested method. Modern clinics provide various procedures using computers and scanners.
Before examination it is necessary to register either in the medical card or computer database the main information about the patient: passport data, weight and height. The examined patient steps on the scanner with bare feet. The image is made in the erect standing (anatomic) position in order to provide even weight distribution on feet. If necessary an additional examination and additional scanning in sitting posture are performed (in order to get an image in other dimensions).
A computer program processes the gathered data with a full analysis of each foot.
An orthopedist submits a medical report with recommendations on eliminating the foot modifications.
The main advantage of plantography is an ability to conduct a detailed examination of all parts of the foot. This method allows studying the characteristics of linear and angular parameters of both feet and detect their deformity with a maximum accuracy. The method also allows detecting lateral or longitudinal flat-footedness. It allows conducting a complex examination, a graphic and calculation analysis.
Plantography is the most effective and harmless method of foot examination and thanks to implementation of computer processing it has become the most widespread diagnostic method in medical and pedagogic practices of many countries.