Some patients who suffer from foot and ankle problems, such as tendinitis, bunions, plantar fasciitis, or even ulcerations and very flat feet, often need custom orthotics or a customized shoe insole/arch support. The reason these are needed is due to the fact that many serious and recurrent foot issues are caused by abnormal foot alignment.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are custom arch supports that are intended to correct an abnormal, or irregular, foot structure or walking pattern. They are worn in your regular shoes to provide support and to properly realign the issues causing your pain. They perform functions that make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient by altering slightly the angles at which your foot strikes the ground.
Orthotics take various forms and are constructed of various materials with the ultimate goal of improving foot function and minimizing stresses that are causing your pain.
How do I know if I need them?
Usually one of our doctors will help you determine if custom orthotics are right for you. Many patients can benefit from a quality over the counter orthotic, such as our PPFAC Medical Grade Inserts. However certain conditions and foot types are too severe to be accommodated in these type of prefabricated orthotics. In that case, one of the doctors at Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic will suggest a custom made orthotic.
How are they made?
The process of making a custom orthotic typically begins with an assessment by one of our doctors. After a through examination of your feet both standing and sitting as well as via X-ray, our doctors determine if orthotics are medically necessary.
Our staff and doctors then work together to take a cast impression of your feet, which only take a couple minutes! The cast impression is then sent to our lab with a prescription (specific instructions unique to each patient) on exactly how your orthotics should be made!
What happens next?
Once the cast impressions arrive at the lab, the technicians hand-make the custom orthotics and if questions arise, they work with the doctor to ensure the custom orthotics are made correctly.
When the orthotics are ready, you will return to our clinic for a fitting with our medical staff. We ask all of our patients to be sure to bring the shoes they will typically be wearing so the orthotics can be fitted to those shoes. The orthotics are also checked to ensure they are properly aligning your foot when standing and walking.
After that you will have a 3 week follow up with our staff or your doctor, at which time any adjustments can be made. Sometimes we are able to do these adjustments at our office and sometimes they need to be sent back to the lab. Either way, be patient, because we are making the perfect device for you!!
If you would like to see if orthotics are right for you, please call today and make an appointment with one of our doctors.