Our doctors treat certain types of foot pain by prescribing special shoe inserts, called orthotics or orthoses, that are custom molded to your feet. Orthotics may be used to treat a number of foot problems including heel pain, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, pressure ulcers, bunions, corns and calluses, tendonitis, ankle sprains, flat feet, as well as to aid healing after foot surgery, improve foot movement, and compensate for uneven leg length.
In addition to traditional plaster cast foot molds, we use Tom-Cat Foot Scanning Technology that electronically scans each of your feet in seconds, providing an accurate electronic "cast", the data that represents of the shape of your foot that we then transmit electronically to the lab that will produce your custom-made orthotics.
There are different types of orthotics
Rigid Orthotics - offering the greatest control of foot movement to relieve bunion pain or to improve the way that the bones of young children's feet develop - made of steel, graphite or plastic
Semi-rigid Orthotics - for increasing shock absorption and controlling foot movement during strenuous activities - made of flexible plastic - may relieve inflammation of the plantar fascia
Soft Orthotics - offering only limited control of foot movement and to cushion your feet when they're on the ground - made of foam or spongy plastic - helpful in re-distributing weight away from a callus on the bottom of your foot
Accommodative Orthotics - for taking pressure off tender parts of your foot and protecting your feet from stress of weight bearing - made of cork foam or leather - helpful in protecting your feet from sores and infection that might result from a medical problem
The set of scans of your feet will be electronically sent to the lab, along with your doctor's prescription detailing the correction you need. At the lab, your custom orthotics will then be crafted by trained lab technicians to meet your doctor's prescription and fit the data from the electronic scans of your feet. Your custom orthotics should arrive in our offices in about three weeks, ready for fitting and minor adjustments.
Fitting Your Orthotics
Because your orthotics are custom-molded to the exact shape of your feet, they will easily slip into your shoes.
Breaking in your orthotics takes time, and because they may feel uncomfortable and strange, you'll probably build up your daily wearing time gradually. After two or three weeks, you'll probably be wearing them full-time.
Shoes with a closed toe and low heel usually work best with orthotics. If you change shoe styles or are active in a sport that places demands upon your feet, you may find that you'll need more than one pair of orthotics. When you're buying shoes, always wear your orthotics to make sure they fit properly, with no slipping, in the shoes you're about to buy.
Most patients, after they get used to wearing their orthotics, don't leave home without them.