Orthoses are precision balanced medical devices worn in your shoes to allow the feet and lower extremities to function properly and help eliminate pain and deformity caused by improper function. They are specifically designed to fit your feet and act to restore the near normal biomechanical function of the lower extremities. Your doctor will select the best orthoses for your particular problem.
Although we often use over-the-counter arch supports as an initial treatment for biomechanical problems, many patients require more sophisticated treatment. These are the patients who benefit from orthoses. The function of custom orthoses is much more than an arch support. Orthoses help to realign the structures of the foot and leg to prevent bone malalignment as well as muscle, tendon, and ligament fatigue. They are often used after surgery to help stop the recurrence of foot deformities.
We use only laboratories who utilize the most durable materials, so our devices often last years longer than average orthoses. Although the life span of your orthoses will vary with the type of device and your activities, most devices last 3-5 years. Annual follow-up visits will help keep your orthoses functioning optimally.
When properly prescribed and produced, orthoses are very comfortable—in fact, you should not even be aware that you are wearing them. It is our responsibility to make sure that your orthoses are comfortable and that they are providing the best biomechanical solution to your foot problem. Our doctors are experts at identifying and fixing orthotic problems. In fact, although we of course cannot guarantee exactly how your symptoms will respond, we do guarantee that your orthoses will be comfortable. If for any reason they are not, let us know so we can fix the problem.
If you have ever had orthoses before, you will likely find that our examination process is more involved. A thorough examination is crucial to give us all of the information we need to prescribe the best orthoses for your feet.
The follow steps are involved in producing orthoses:
Biomechanical Examination: An extensive examination of the function of your lower extremities helps us prescribe the best orthotic to correct your specific problem. We will evaluate the function of your hips, knees, ankles, and the many joints of your feet.
Gait Analysis: You will more than likely be observed either walking or running in the exam room or hallway. This provides your doctor with a detailed knowledge of your gait to be used when writing your orthotic prescription.
Casting: While your feet are held in the ideal position, a plaster mold or digital scan is obtained of your feet. The positioning of your foot is of utmost importance in order to ensure proper orthotic function and comfort. Our specialist or highly trained staff will take the imprints of your feet. This ensures the proper placement of your foot.
Prescription: Using the information gathered in your examination and gait analysis, your doctor will write a detailed prescription that instructs the orthotic laboratory on how to specifically construct your orthotic devices.
Laboratory Production: Your casts are then sent to a laboratory for production of your orthoses. The cast is first laser scanned then lab technicians will follow your doctor’s prescription in making the corrections that will give you the support you need to control your symptoms. We use only the highest quality orthotic laboratories in the country.