What we do

The MFAC uses different advanced technologies to help monitor, evaluate and correct spinal deformities.

Monitoring spinal progression

The MFAC features a unique piece of equipment in the Milwaukee Topographic Scanner. This system uses a handheld laser scanner on the surface of the patient's back (Figure 1), which allows it to monitor mild of moderate spinal curvatures without radiation. The scanner produces 3-D back contours that conventional X-rays cannot give, and physicians can see results within 30 minutes. This allows clinicians to quantify a shoulder discrepancy, rib hump, pelvic tilt, area and rib cage volume asymmetry, spinal alignment and many other conditions in follow-up appointments (Figure 2). Over the long term, use of the Milwaukee Topographic Scanner will greatly reduce the amount of tests that require radiation.

 Monitoring spinal progression figure 1

Figure 1. Foam markers are placed on the spinal processes before the hand held scan begins

Monitoring spinal progression figure 2

Figure 2. Following data acquisition and digitization, it will automatically map the 3D back contour with 12 measurements.

CAD/CAM-based custom orthotics

The Rodin4D scanner offers optimal precision for every body part (Figure 3), with the ability to make a custom torso scan during manipulation and correction of the spine. This is then used to make a custom-fitted brace through a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) (Figures 4, 5).

CAD/CAM-based custom orthotics figure 3

Figure 3. A boy with post-surgery on the foot acquired a customized SMO to hold the foot in a correct biomechanical alignment.

Scanned foot CAD-based orthotic Pedorthosis


 Scanned foot CAD-based orthotic Pedorthosis figure 4

Figure 4. Following spinal manipulation for a child with early onset of scoliosis, a torso scan was made by Rodin4D scanner and customized brace was designed and manufactured. The child felt more comfortable wearing the brace, as it is fitted to their body.

Scanned foot CAD-based orthotic Pedorthosis figure 5

Figure 5. The same child showed correction of spine after wearing the customized brace. 

3-D spinal evaluation

The EOS 3-D X-ray scanner uses an ultra-low dose of radiation to take front and side X-rays at the same time. From these simultaneous images, we are able to reconstruct a 3-D model of a spine that presents in an upright standing position (weight-bearing) (Figure 6). This can provide a better understanding and accurate diagnosis, while also helping to determine the course of treatment.

 3-D spinal evaluation figure 6

Figure 6. A 3-D spine model was reconstructed for review, especially with axial vertebral rotation at each spinal segment.

DIERS System

The DIERS system is a radiation-free measurement system that provides both a static and dynamic three-dimensional spinal analysis. Horizontal bars of light are projected onto the surface of the back while a camera records the image. The computer software reconstructs the curvature of the spine using this image as well as various anatomical landmarks.

Anatomical landmarks of DIERS system figure 7

Figure 7. A girl with idiopathic scoliosis is walking on the treadmill while a light projects on her back.

Anatomical landmarks of DIERS system figure 8

Figure 8. 3D measurements of the spine is displaced.

Orthotic assessment

Consisting of a microsensor and wireless reading device, the Orthotimer is a wear-time measurement system for the success of the therapy, including orthotics, shoes, insoles, prosthesis, etc. It will document the patients' compliance and help determine what might be causing any problems and how to find solutions.