3D prints evaluate effectiveness of common treatments of heel deformity

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Researchers at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles have utilized 3D printed models and discovered the top three treatments for heel deformities do not fully correct the problem. Findings were presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting.

Affecting nearly 3 million people worldwide, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) twists the heel bone inward by killing the long nerves in the foot. To further study the effectiveness of common treatments of CMT, researchers used CAT scans of patient’s heel to create 18 3D prints.

Using the three most commonly used correction treatments on the prints, researchers concluded none were able to effectively correct the CMT deformity.

"Ultimately our findings offer hope for better techniques to help patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease live a better quality of life," said Glenn B. Pfeffer, MD, lead author of the study and director of the Foot and Ankle Surgery Program at Cedars-Sinai.