Integrating Digital Tailoring with Carbon Fiber Techniques for Custom AFOs/KAFOs
Are you intrigued by the idea of blending cutting-edge pre-preg carbon fiber techniques with digital processes? If so, you won't want to miss the engaging conversation between Richard Miltenberger, CPO & Clinical Expert, and Gary Wall, CPO & Clinic Manager at Hanger in Atlanta, as they delve into this fascinating topic.
Gary Wall's Expertise in Orthotics and Prosthetics
With over eight years of experience as a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO) and Clinic Manager at Hanger Clinic in Atlanta, Gary brings a wealth of knowledge to the discussion. In his extensive career, he has observed that thermoplastics continue to dominate the AFO/KAFO manufacturing landscape. While this approach allows CPOs to easily tailor devices for a precise fit and exceptional support, particularly with total contact fitting, Gary highlights a drawback: these materials tend to exhibit low modulus properties, especially in terms of torsional rigidity, which can lead to significant deformations.
The Strength of Carbon Fiber for AFOs/KAFOs
Carbon fiber emerges as the hero in this narrative, demonstrating its inherent strength. Across the orthotic industry, there is a noticeable shift towards stiffer materials to effectively manage triplanar deformities. Gary's preferred approach, aimed at providing patients with optimal devices, involves utilizing advanced Pre-Preg and composite techniques. He relies on Pre-Pregs for 80-90% of adult AFOs in his clinic, particularly when addressing cases with internal and external rotary deformities.
Expanding Horizons with Composite Materials
Contrary to common perception, Pre-Pregs encompass more than just carbon fiber. They result from the strategic combination of various composite materials. In addition to carbon, options include aramid/kevlar, fiberglass, dyneema (UHWE-PE), innegra (UHMW-PP), and even sustainable resources like hemp. This diverse array of materials empowers the creation of highly dynamic devices, pushing the boundaries of what's possible with rigid materials.
A Hybrid Approach for Optimal Results
While Gary's preferred manufacturing technique for AFOs/KAFOs is Pre-Preg, he integrates digital processes in the preliminary steps. This hybrid approach as we call it in Mecuris terminology, also sometimes referred to as Scan2Carve process, allows him to achieve the best fit and solution for his patients while streamlining his workflow.
Why? Hear it all and explore the benefits of pre-preg and the combination with digital modeling in detail in this recording. Delve deeper into Gary’s insights, including:
The origins, use and advantages of using pre-preg techniques for AFOs/KAFOs
Tips and insights into the scanning process, with a focus on why 60-90 seconds of effort suffice for most cases.
A detailed walkthrough of Gary's digital modeling and manual manufacturing process, highlighting his favorite tools and steps within the Mecuris Solution Platform.
Real-life showcases and valuable tips on L-codes.
Unlock the full recording now to gain a comprehensive understanding of the exciting intersection between pre-preg techniques, digital modeling, and their synergistic potential in orthotics and prosthetics. Get it now >>
Thanks, @Gary, for sharing your experiences and opening up new ideas to provide patients with the best care possible.
Tip for all US based practitioners: At the end of the video we will provide you with the quiz that will enable you to get 1.25 free CEU’s with the ABC.
More on the topic: Colleagues in Germany also like to work with the hybrid approach - the combination of digital and manual processes. Do you already know this blog article? A step into the future: Lea's hybrid manufactured lower leg orthosis made of carbon - Read now >>
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