Orthotics are scientifically designed control devices that can address a multitude of common foot ailments such as heel pain, inflamed calluses, bunions, abnormal walking patterns (especially in children), shock absorbency, arthritis, overuse syndromes and tendonitis, and diabetic patients that need protection against open sores. These are just a few of the many common foot problems for which orthotics are indicated.
The podiatrists at Northwest Podiatry Center, Ltd., will assess each patient individually to determine if an orthotic is an appropriate choice for you, based on your specific symptoms, activities, hobbies, and lifestyle. If orthotics are meant for you, they will be uniquely fabricated for your feet, based on a detailed exam. Specific measurements are taken to correct for misalignments within the foot that may have developed recently, or slowly over a lifetime.
Because of these factors, orthotics should be reevaluated on a biannual basis for any minor adjustments. Major adjustments may require fabrication of new orthotics, which is usually done every two or three years. Devices made for children have a shorter lifetime due to the variable growth spurts that children commonly exhibit.
Children require frequent reevaluations every six months to check for proper orthotic fit.
When your devices are ready, they will be dispensed to you by one of the podiatrists on staff, at which time you will be evaluated for proper fit and function. You will be instructed on the proper break-in protocol for your particular device. It usually takes two to four weeks for you to receive your orthotics after an impression of your feet has been made.
The average American takes 10,000 steps a day. The repetitive strain of loading and unloading the foot on the orthotic will cause wear to the device. Refurbishment, or rebuilding, of the orthotic is necessary on a periodic basis. As time goes on, however, replacement is necessary, not only because of wear, but also because the foot will structurally change. Orthotics are usually replaced every two to three years.
There are many substitutes for custom orthotics sold commercially in stores, mail-order catalogs, television, and on the internet. All of these substitutes lack several key components. None of these alternatives is based on a thorough exam of your feet or precise biomechanical measurements and fitting. Most commercial devices are not fabricated to an exact model of your feet, and those that use a foam impression are not supervised by a podiatrist to make certain of the proper positioning of your foot in the foam. Finally, commercially sold devices have a short longevity, forcing you to replace them often.
The use of orthotics is an important component in the overall treatment of a medical condition by your podiatrist to restore proper function to your feet. You will receive extensive knowledge of your condition and expertise with every pair of orthotics from the podiatrists at Northwest Podiatry Center. This you will not receive from the store, mail order, television, or internet.
Orthotics are usually covered by your insurance.
We’re here to help you. For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact the physicians of Northwest Podiatry Center, at any of our convenient locations.