Foot orthoses (FOs) are commonly used as interventions for individuals with flatfoot. Advances in technologies such as three-dimensional (3D) scanning and 3D printing have facilitated the fabrication of custom FOs. However, few studies have been conducted on the mechanical properties and biomechanical effects of 3D-printed FOs. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the mechanical properties of 3D-printed FOs and determine their biomechanical effects in individuals with flexible flatfoot. During mechanical testing, a total of 18 FO samples with three orientations (0°, 45°, and 90°) were fabricated and tested. The maximum compressive load and stiffness were calculated. During a motion capture experiment, 12 individuals with flatfoot were enrolled, and the 3D-printed FOs were used as interventions. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected during walking by using an optical motion capture system. A one-way analysis of variance was performed to compare the mechanical parameters among the three build orientations. A paired t-test was conducted to compare the biomechanical variables under two conditions: walking in standard shoes (Shoe) and walking in shoes embedded with FOs (Shoe+FO). The results indicated that the 45° build orientation produced the strongest FOs. In addition, the maximum ankle evertor and external rotator moments under the Shoe+FO condition were significantly reduced by 35% and 16%, respectively, but the maximum ankle plantar flexor moments increased by 3%, compared with the Shoe condition. No significant difference in ground reaction force was observed between the two conditions. This study demonstrated that 3D-printed FOs could alter the ankle joint moments during gait.
|Journal||Applied Bionics and Biomechanics|
|State||Published - 2019|