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I Feel Like I Need a WBCT to Be into the Game

by Vince Vacketta, DPM

Weight bearing CT (WBCT) has proven to be a valuable tool for foot and ankle surgeons. One study looking at the WBCT experience of an orthopedic practice found revenue neutral was 20 scans per month and breakeven of the device at around three years. In their experience, foot and ankle surgeons made up 80% of clinic use.

US CT market

There are more than 80 million CT scans performed in the US, annually, most with conventional CT scans. Weight bearing CT’s make up a little over 5% of the US market for CT scanners purchases. The argument in favor of WBCT is more efficient acquisition time, lower radiation doses, and assessment in the functional weight bearing position. In the foot and ankle market, Curvebeam pedCAT has established a strong position for WBCT.

An affordable alternative to WBCT

There are alternatives that allow for reproducible simulated weight bearing using a traditional horizontal beam non-weightbearing CT scanner. Smolinksi et al. has demonstrated no significant differences between the simulated weightbearing CT scans using horizontal beam CT and the WBCT scan images. This new research gives surgeons who desire WBCT images, a proven comparable alternative albeit with a higher dose of radiation and higher acquisition time.

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