What You Need to Know About Orthotics: Solving the Mystery of Why Some Work and Others Don’t!

Published On: August 8, 2012

Discover whether the orthotic is “prefabricated” or “custom-made” – and you’ve solved the mystery. Period.

What is an Orthotic?

An orthotic is foot device used to treat aberrant biomechanical function of the feet and legs. They should be prescribed in the same careful and specific way as oral medicines. A biomechanical and gait analysis is necessary to gather such information as general mobility/restriction of the foot’s range of motion, primary activity while wearing the orthotics, chief complaint or diagnosis associated with the activity, neurological and anatomical factors (shortage/deformity, etc.).

They say, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”. You be the judge.

33082012100533Prefabricated orthoticsare already made and waiting. They are considered off-the-shelf or mass produced and only accommodate simple corrections such as a metatarsal pad.

17082012100317Custom-made RX orthotics are made by properly casting the patient’s foot to capture all the contours and structure of the foot. In our clinic we use a system Sharp Shape 3D laser scanner, a contact digitizing and laser scanner of your foot. To the lab technician, this is like having the patient’s foot in front of him or her while the orthotic is being crafted to correct conditions that prevent discomfort while standing or walking. When a 3-dimensional mould is given to the lab the devices are precision crafted that will give you the result you’re looking for: comfort – freedom – convenience.

Consider the alternatives. If you are standing on a mat to create an orthotic, only a 2 dimensional computer generated impression is created. How can you make a 3 dimensional piece with only 66.67% of the information needed? Only a plaster-mould impression of your foot can make a true custom-made well fitting orthotic.

Your chiropodist begins with a complete biomechanical assessment, after which an appropriate orthotic device can be prescribed. Your orthotic can have modifications made such as deep heel seating, lateral or medial flanges, kinetic wedge, 1st ray cut, heel cushioning, metatarsal bar pad, toe crest pad, neuroma pad … just to name a few. These adjustments are not possible in a prefabricated orthotic.

Now you know! Want to learn more? Ask us.


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