Footwear Prescription System for Injury Prevention and Management


Description of Technology

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is the most frequently encountered overuse injury in sports medicine clinics. Additionally, it is estimated that one out of two adults will develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) during their lifetime. Combined, these two injuries affect well over 25 million people in Canada and the United States, and this number is expected to rise over the next generation. Both injuries are characterized by increased knee joint loading during walking and running, and therefore orthotics are commonly prescribed for the treatment and managment of PFPS and OA to reduce this loading. However, in 15 to 45 per cent of cases, individuals receiving an orthotic will actually experience increased joint loads, possibly contributing to disease worsening. Currently, no method is available for predicting the biomechanical response of a given footwear intervention resulting in the incorrect prescription of potentially hazardous orthotics to millions of individuals each year.

Researchers in the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary have developed a method for predicting response to a given footwear intervention. The method combines 2D video data and uniaxial ground force data from a single stepping motion to predict biomechanical response at the knee during walking and running. The system has the potential to reduce injury and improve the efficacy of orthodics by using a scientific, precision medicine approach to footwear prescription.

Areas of Application
  • Footwear prescription system for injury prevention and management
  • Point-of-sale system for selling personalized, biomechanically optimized footwear interventions
  • Clinical tool that can be used to validate clinician recommendations
IP Status
  • Published US patent application - US 2016/0367199 A1
Competitive Advantages
  • Increased efficacy of orthotics
  • Recommends the correct product for reducing injury risk and optimizing treatment
  • More effective management of common musculoskeletal injuries
  • Prevention of prescribing a potentially hazardous orthotic
Stage Of Development
  • Method accurately predicts the biomechanical response at the knee to medial and lateral wedge insoles
  • Effective method for predicting orthotic response in healthy, PFPS and OA populations