|PRESCRIPTION FOOT ORTHOSES
prescription foot orthotic is an in-shoe brace which is designed
to correct abnormal foot and lower extremity function. In correcting
abnormal foot and lower extremity function, the prescription foot
orthotic reduces the strain on injured structures in the foot and
lower extremity, allowing them to heal and become non-painful. In
addition, a prescription foot orthotic helps prevent future problems
by reducing abnormal or pathological forces acting on the foot and
Podiatrists prescribe two main types of prescription foot orthotics
for their patients, accommodative orthotics and functional orthotics.
Both types of prescription foot orthotics are used to correct foot
function of the patient, so that the pain in their foot or lower
extremity will improve. However, accommodative and functional orthotics
are generally made using different materials and may not look or
feel the same. Both types of prescription foot orthotics are nearly
always prescribed as a pair to allow more normal function of both
|ACCOMMODATIVE FOOT ORTHOTICS
Accommodative foot orthotics are used to cushion, pad or relieve
pressure from a painful or injured area on the bottom of the foot.
They may also be designed to try to control abnormal function of
the foot. Accommodative orthotics may be made of a wide range of
materials such as cork, leather, plastic foams, and rubber materials.
They are generally more flexible and softer than functional foot
Accommodative orthotics are useful in the treatment of painful
calluses on the bottom of the foot, diabetic foot ulcerations, sore
bones on the bottom of the foot, and other types of foot pathology.
The advantages of accommodative orthotics are that they are relatively
soft and forgiving, and are generally easy to adjust in shape after
they are dispensed to the patient to improve comfort. The disadvantages
of accommodative orthotics are that they are relatively bulky, have
relatively poor durability, and may need frequent adjustments to
allow them to continue working properly.
Functional foot orthotics are used to correct abnormal foot and
lower extremity function. Some types of functional foot orthotics
may also be designed to accommodate painful areas on the bottoms
of the foot. Functional foot orthotics may be made of flexible,
semi-rigid, or rigid plastic or graphite materials. They are relatively
thin and easily fit into most types of shoes.
Functional foot orthotics are useful in the treatment of a very
wide range of painful conditions of the foot and lower extremities. Problems such as great toe joint pain, lesser toe joint pain, arch pain, heel pain, and ankle pain are
often improved through treatment with functional foot orthotics. Since abnormal foot function causes abnormal ankle,
knee and hip function, functional foot orthotics are also commonly
used to treat painful tendinitis and bursitis conditions in the
ankle, knee and hip. The advantages of functional foot orthotics
are that they are relatively durable, infrequently require adjustments
and more likely to fit into standard shoes.
|PROCESS OF PRESCRIBING ORTHOTICS
In order to design and fabricate prescription foot orthotics, the
podiatrist must perform a biomechanical examination of the feet
and lower extremities. All structural and functional deformities are noted. Dr. Fisher or Dr. Baker then scans patients’ feet utilizing a state-of-the-art computerized foot scanner to produce a digital foot print. This information is then used in the design and fabrication of the prescription foot orthotics.