The currently accepted interval of weekly cast changes in the treatment of clubfeet seems unsubstantiated. A force sensor is needed to determine the adaptation rate of a clubfoot to establish what cast change interval would be most effective and efficient.We developed a force sensor based on the principle that the resonance frequency of an LC-tank changes when a metal target is brought in close proximity. A thin rubber ring between the LC-tank and the metal target transformed this proximity sensor into a force sensor. With a static load test and an incremental load test, the performance of the constructed force sensors was characterized. The custom-made sensor showed excellent sensitivity ((1.7 ± 0.8 × 105) counts/N), resolution ((0.15 ± 0.06) mN), and accuracy ((3.5 ± 3.0) %) for the application. The observed drift was (2.1 ± 0.7) %/log10(h), which is lower than other thin force sensors. Preliminary results of measurements in the treatment of Dupuytren fingers and clubfeet show good functioning for long-term force measurements.
- Force sensor