Weight Bearing 3D CT Scanner Improves Foot and Ankle Patient’s Outcomes

Great toe joint fusion surgey

Great toe joint fusion with plate cross section on CT.

Imaging for foot and ankle has taken a huge leap forward and University Foot and Ankle Institute is proud to be at the cutting edge with the first new 3D weight bearing CT scanner in Southern California.

So what is so important about a weight bearing 3D scan you may ask? It is the ability to get an image of the foot in multiple planes and angles and cut the foot in what looks like “slices” that give us a much better way to look at the patient’s foot and ankle.

In addition, the computers in the weight bearing 3D CT Scanner machine will reformat the foot in a full 3D model that allows surgical planning and alignment guide planning prior to surgery.  This allows us as surgeons to plan the surgery with much more precise angles and alignment guidance prior to surgery.

Heel bone lengthening surgery, 3D CT Scan

Heel bone lengthening with bone graft cross section.

It is often thought that surgery is an art.  This is true but much of the art of surgery is through the proper selection of procedures and implementation of the procedure selection on the foot or ankle.  Much like an art project, finding the right site to paint, using the right paint and sketching the painting prior to going to work actually applying paint is all part of the process for a good outcome.

A 3D CT is much like setting up a painting and the CT images are much like a sketch prior to applying paint.  The CT shows the foot in multiple planes and allows for alignment guidance and pre surgical planning.  The surgeon can plan the surgery and sketch the painting.  The actual painting occurs during surgery with the sketch as a guide.

Subsequent to surgery, it is often hard to tell if a bone has healed or a fusion has occurred in the desired surgical site.  X-rays show a foot in 2 dimensions and often the fusion site may look fused but may not be fully healed.  The 3D CT allows us to check the surgical site in multiple planes for fusion and also allows us to get patients up earlier if fused or protect them longer if not fused.  This has resulted in less time to healing and also has saved many patients from having to have revision surgery when the foot looked healed on x-rays but was not fully healed on CT and required additional protection.

Toe alignment and fusion surgery, 3D scan

Post surgery showing alignment and fusion position.

Our Curvebeam 3D Weight Bearing 3D CT Scanner has dramatically changed our thought process and the way we practice. It has allowed us to image the foot prior to surgery for proper surgical planning and also check the foot post surgery for adequate healing.

The 3D CT system is a giant leap in the field of foot and ankle surgery which leads to significantly better outcomes for our patients.

For more information please call (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

 

Latest posts by Dr. Gary B. Briskin, DPM, FACFAS

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