Having flat feet is particularly common in infants and young children. The scientific term for flat feet is pes planus, meaning the flattening of the arch during standing or walking. The condition generally corrects itself with time as children’s muscles strengthen along with their soft tissues stiffening. It is important to keep in mind that…
How are Custom Orthotics Made?
Custom orthotics are used to align and support a person's foot and their lower limb. The device is custom-made for the patient to ensure it does its job properly. A mold of the patient's feet is taken by a podiatrist who makes the device.
What to expect when getting custom orthotics
The appointment often starts with a podiatrist taking a three-dimensional imprint of the patient's foot. This can be done with a variety of casting and imaging techniques. One of the most common ways these 3D molds are made is by inserting the patient's foot into a foam box, which creates an imprint of it. The impression can also be taken by applying plaster to the patient's foot and pulling it away once it is dried up. Digital images and computer modeling can also be used to create an accurate impression of a patient's foot.
During this process, it is vital that the patient's foot is kept in the proper position and alignment to ensure the custom orthotic works as it should.
Once an impression of the patient's feet has been taken, the material the prosthetic will be made from will be chosen. Certain foot issues require a softer, accommodating material, while others require a rigid material that keeps the patient's foot properly aligned.
After selecting the material, it is heated in an oven and vacuum pressed over the cast that was made. This forms the shell of the device. Once the shell has cooled, it is trimmed and polished to create the custom orthotic.
The patient will be called in for a fitting. During the appointment, the podiatrist will make any necessary adjustments and ensure the prosthetic fits properly.
Follow up appointments are often scheduled to ensure the orthotic is working as it should. Any necessary adjustments will be made during this follow up appointment.
Potential issues treated with orthotics
Common issues that orthotics can help with include:
Diabetes can affect a person's entire body including their feet. It often leads to poor blood circulation, chafing, damaged nerves and foot ulcers.
Nerve damage can lead to a person's feet becoming numb and it can also lead to pain coming from the bottom of their feet. Orthotics can be used to reduce the risk of a person's feet being damaged by footwear.
2. Chronic foot pain
Some people have foot conditions like flat or misaligned feet. These can lead to pain when moving around, especially if the person spends most of their days on their feet. An orthotic device can be used to alleviate the pain caused by a foot disorder.
It helps to properly redistribute the person's weight, which reduces the odds of them injuring their feet as a result of their condition.
3. Tendonitis and Bursitis
Cortisone injections, orthotics or minimally invasive surgical procedures are used to deal with either of these conditions. The custom shoe can help to provide additional support to the injured tissues that are limiting the person's mobility.
Get the extra support you need
If you are dealing with a foot issue, a custom orthotics device can help improve your mobility and reduce pain. Set up a consultation with our Pocatello office to learn more about these prosthetics.
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