Dr. Jarrett Cain knows he’s in a unique position.

Doing research with an academic institution, he has access to a number of tools helping with imaging, so he can truly see what is happening with a patient’s foot.

That has helped him perform studies like the one he completed looking into diabetic foot, the hallux valgus deformity and why examining the contralateral side of the foot is important when developing patient-specific instrumentation.

“I’ve been fortunate to be in a university hospital setting, which allows me other different modalities from a research standpoint, so I can evaluate and further examine how the biomechanics are affecting the development of an ulceration and even Charcot disease, which is common in diabetics, (and how it is) affecting their biomechanics, as well,” he said. “(I’ve been able to) come up with different modalities to help preserve the limb and prevent any ulceration from leading to an amputation.”

While pedobarographic graphic data contributes, Cain also uses weight-bearing CT, utilizing those techniques in tandem to get a complete picture of a patient’s foot and the changes that will happen over time.

This may be a relatively new method, but Cain expects to see weight-bearing CT imaging become much more common in the near future.

“I believe that in the next few years it will be the standard of care,” he said. “There are a lot of different technologies that come out. However, this modality has been shown to be effective, and the published reports are supporting that claim.”

Some of that research is being produced by Cain himself and his colleagues, but it’s clear that many of the advances in technology that are helping salvage limbs have been aided by the images produced utilizing weight-bearing CT.

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