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Weight-bearing Impression Techniques

Lab Services

Weight-bearing Impression Techniques

The A.C.T. Casting Pillow


Inconsistencies of casting techniques provide the greatest challenge in any fabrication lab. Modifying the casts to estimate the arch height, arch length and width of the weight bearing foot is subjective at best. Extensive discussion and debate has been ongoing over the years with no ultimate solution on how to make foot casting consistent whether using a plaster slipper cast, wax or foam impression tray. Simply “loading” the lateral column during casting does not effectively create a functional or comfortable foot model. Foam impression boxes, while allowing a load to be placed manually on the mid-foot; do not overcome the problem of inconsistency due to practitioner techniques. Common complaints of foot orthotics being intolerable or ineffective due to improper “interpretation” of the plaster model are essentially eliminated by creating a weight-bearing foot impression. Utilizing a The A.C.T.™ impression pillow provides an accurate, reproducible and consistent plantar foot topography regardless of technician technique

Design Features:

The A.C.T.™ Casting Pillow is designed to create an accurate and reproducible model of the foot. The unique pillow shape and density allows the uncompensated foot to be suspended while maintaining neutral subtalar joint alignment as it bears load. This produces a foot model that requires little if any modification in the lab.

The pillow contours and slow-recovery foam allow the rear-foot and mid-foot to be suspended, effectively enveloping the foot without the potential for ground reactive forces to cause distortion. The memory foam material gently compresses the soft tissue at the heel and mid-foot while the forefoot is allowed to splay naturally, as it does under normal load. With the subtalar joint in neutral the thinner memory foam layer under the ball of the foot and toe area will capture the forefoot plane as neutral unless there is a rigid forefoot varus or valgus present.

The A.C.T™ pillows are designed as a single component slow-recovery foam with a smooth durable exterior surface. The pillow surface can be cleaned with soap and water, disinfectant spray or simply brushed. Plaster, STS® socks and thermal moldable mediums will not stick to the surface.

For more information, please refer to the A.C.T.™ Impression Pillow Manual

The A.C.T.™ Impression Stand


The A.C.T.™ Impression Stand is uniquely designed to simplify the molding process utilizing the A.C.T.™ pillows. Once the subtalar joint has been aligned, the knee cups hold the patient in position for hands free molding/casting. The plumb bobs identify the alignment of the knee over the metatarsals providing both a reference point and diagnostic tool.

For more information, please refer to the A.C.T.™ Impression Stand Manual.


Foot Dynamics