Dilatancy-based impression and fabrication technique for custom foot orthoses

Larissa A. Sletto*, Yeongchi Wu, Christopher Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Current methods used to take impressions for custom foot orthoses include plaster bandage, foam box, fiberglass, and laser-optical scanner. Impressions are converted to positive plaster or foam models. These methods create waste and may not be feasible in resource-limited areas. This technical note presents an alternative, greener impression and fabrication technique for foot orthoses that utilizes the dilatancy principle. Technique: Steps of the dilatancy (vacuum-based) procedure include taking an impression of the foot, converting the negative mold to a positive sand model, modifying the positive sand model, and thermoforming the foot orthosis. Discussion: This plaster-less system is inexpensive to set up and maintain, is reusable thereby minimizing cost and waste, and is clean to use. It enables a practitioner to quickly take an impression for fabricating a foot orthosis in a short period of time during a single clinic visit by the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Custom
  • Dilatancy
  • Fabrication
  • Foot
  • Impression
  • Modification
  • Orthosis
  • Vacuum-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation

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