Plantography is a method of diagnosing flat feet by imprints of the plantar surfaces of the feet. Computer plantography is the most accurate; it is carried out using a hardware and software complex that performs a direct scan of the feet at rest and in the conditions of a functional load test. The technique allows you to calculate various morphological parameters of the foot and objectively judge the degree of transverse or longitudinal flatfoot.
Plantography is widespread, it is used to detect flat feet during mass preventive examinations in children’s institutions. It is part of the mandatory examination during the examination of conscripts. In addition, it is assigned in the following situations:
- congenital or previously diagnosed flat feet – to determine the type, degree and severity of pathology;
- deformities of the feet after rickets, polio, traumatic injuries;
- chronic diseases of the musculoskeletal system;
- complaints of increased fatigue, swelling and pain in the legs after exertion;
- the appearance of constant discomfort when using previously comfortable shoes;
- joining lower back pain to pain in the soles;
- trampling of the inner edge of shoes, increasing the size of shoes in adulthood;
- prolonged stay on your feet in connection with the performance of professional duties;
- pregnancy period – to assess the load distribution on the legs and spine;
- preparation for the manufacture of orthopedic products;
- evaluation of the effectiveness of therapeutic measures for diseases of the feet.
The use of plantography, podometry and podography data allows you to get complete information about the state of the feet and load distribution, to choose the optimal method of treatment and orthopedic correction.
Plantography is absolutely safe, there are no contraindications. The study is not prescribed for children under 3 years of age, because during this period flat feet are a physiological norm, does not require diagnosis and treatment.
Methodology of conducting
Plantography is carried out without special training in a specialized medical institution. The classical technique is suitable for use in the process of on-site inspection.
Currently it is considered obsolete, more often used during mass children’s preventive examinations. The advantages of the method are accessibility and the absence of the need to use special equipment. Classical plantography includes the following stages:
- the patient takes off his shoes and socks;
- the feet are degreased with ether and a dye is applied;
- the examinee is asked to carefully stand on a blank sheet of paper, evenly distributing the load on his legs.
Then, using fingerprints, measurements of various indicators are carried out using a special technique.
A platform is used for the survey, the data from which is transmitted to the computer. The procedure consists of the following stages:
- the patient takes off his shoes, stands on the platform, evenly distributing the body weight;
- the examinee is asked to sit down and study the indicators in a situation where the soles are not affected by the weight of the human body;
- the received data is processed by the corresponding program.
This type of plantography allows you to scan the feet in three projections, provides high accuracy in calculating the foot index. The time of diagnostic manipulation is reduced. The patient’s comfort level increases, since there is no need to apply dye to the feet. The data is stored in the computer’s memory and subsequently used to track the dynamics of the disease.
According to the results of the study, the following coefficients are estimated:
- Anterior part of the foot. It is calculated by determining the ratio of the anterior and posterior parts of the foot. Normally it is 0.92-1.08.
- The spread. Normally it is equal to 0.25-0.35, if this indicator is exceeded, it indicates the presence of transverse flat feet.
- Longitudinal flattening. Ranges from 0.51 to 1. An indicator above 1 indicates longitudinal flat feet.
Along with the determination of these indicators, the angle of the Shopar joint is measured during plantography. The norm is 170-180 degrees. An increase or decrease in the angle confirms the presence of valgus or varus deformity of the foot. According to the indications of patients, they are additionally directed to podometry (step study), podography (measurement of the surfaces of the foot), radiography of the feet with a load.