Pedorthics is a specialized field dealing with customized footwear and orthotics (inserts) to alleviate a variety of foot, knee, and back pain.You may have questions about your visit to our office. Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Pedorthic work. If you have other questions, feel free to call us and ask!
- Q: What is Pedorthics?
- A: Pedorthics is the design, manufacture, fit, and modification of footwear and foot orthosis to alleviate foot problems caused by foot imbalances, disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury. The word “pedorthics” first appeared in medical dictionaries in 1980, although the field itself began to emerge in the late 1950’s after World War II and an outbreak of polio created a need to deal with foot trauma through footwear.
- Q: What is a Certified Pedorthist?
- A: Board-certified pedorthists are trained in foot and lower-limb anatomy, pathology, biomechanics (which involves human locomotion), gait analysis, footwear fitting, lower extremity orthotic design, orthotic fabrication, shoe construction and modification, and patient and practice management. Their qualifications have been tested and accepted by the Board of Certification in Pedorthics (BCP), and they participate in a continuing education program under BCP auspices. Certified Pedorthists fit and dispense footwear according to a doctor’s prescription.
- Q: What are orthotics?
- A: An orthosis (or orthotic) is an apparatus that supports, aligns, prevents or corrects deformities, or improves function for a section of the body. Foot orthoses, made from casts of a patient’s feet, fit in footwear and interface between the shape of the foot and the shape of a shoe. Orthotics are meant to support the foot and correct for imbalances and deficiencies in gait. Our custom orthotics are built in our lab to address the biomechanical deficiencies of the feet. Feet are cast in a non-weight bearing, neutral position. The orthotics are built from appropriate materials, depending on the pathology and needs of the patient. Because the orthotics are built in our lab, we are able to build them aggressively and make the adjustments and modifications as needed.
- Q: When is a prescription needed?
- A: People often begin to wear over-the-counter orthotics for comfort reasons. Generally, a prescription is not needed to relieve minor aches or pains. When a medical condition is present in the foot, such as injury, arthritis, diabetes, or poor circulation, a pedorthic prescription is standard. Any health care provider qualified to prescribe can write a pedorthic prescription. Prescriptions are required in some states; check with your local doctor. Prescriptions can also be relevant to insurance; check with your insurance when considering a claim.
- Q: What is Biomechanics?
- A: Biomechanics is the study of the body in motion. Biomechanics of the foot focuses on how the foot moves and how its motion affects the rest of the body. If the feet are not in balance while in motion, ankle, knee, hip, and back joints may be affected. Pain and inflammation in these areas can be caused by foot imbalances. Biomechanics of the foot, therefore, are relative to postural changes, and the biomechanics of human locomotion.
- Q: What about office visits?
- A: On a first visit, a full biomechanical evaluation will be provided. Feet will be casted for the building of orthotics. Treatments and stretches may be given for specific foot problems. Shoe fitting concerns will also be addressed.
Any time from two days to one week after casting, orthotics will be dispensed and fitted to shoes. Two to three different pairs of shoes that are frequently worn should be brought at this time. Shoes with extra depth or that have removable insoles work best. We will make adjustments if necessary and give proper break-in instructions.
A re-check appointment will be set up for two weeks after receiving the orthotics. We will re-evaluate the orthotics and make any adjustments and changes that are needed.
These three office visits are included in the initial cost of the orthotics. Subsequent office visits will cost from $60 – $70, depending on the time and materials used.
- Q: What shoes can I wear the orthotics in?
- A: Orthotics can only achieve their goal in conjunction with a shoe. Shoes can maximize the value of an orthosis, or limit it. Shoes must have fine quality and craftsmanship. To effectively control the foot the following features are required of a shoe :
- A solid heel counter: the part of a shoe that wraps around the back of the heel.
- Good torsional stability: the shoe should not easily twist from the heel through the arch.
- A removable insole: a piece of material manufactured with the shoe that should easily be removed allowing sufficient depth in the shoe to integrate to an orthotic.
- Q: Can I switch the orthotics from shoe to shoe?
- A: Orthotics can be switched into shoes of similar shape, length, and depth. An example of similar footwear is an athletic shoe and a hiking boot.
- Q: How much do they cost?
- A: The orthotic cost is $495.00. This fee includes three office visits, casting and adjustments, and the first pair of orthotics. Casts of the feet are provided to patients so that additional orthotics can be made. A deposit is taken on the first visit. The balance is due at the time orthotics are dispensed. We do not file insurance claims, except for Workers Compensation. We will provide all the necessary billing codes and information so that our patients may file with their own insurance companies for reimbursement.
- Q: How long do the orthotics last?
- A: All materials are subject to time, heat, and pressure. Materials are chosen based on the patients needs and pathology. Some materials give more cushioning and have less durability. Top covers of orthotics can be replaced without affecting the integrity of the main body of the orthotic. We recommend replacing top covers at least once a year, depending on activity, weight, and materials used. Properly maintained orthotics can last indefinitely.
- Q: What are Foothills Pedorthics’ orthotics made out of?
- A: The orthotic materials are chosen based on the patient’s foot structure, pathology, level of activity, age and physical condition, and needs. These factors change over time, as do the patient’s orthotic needs. Any material from full rigid graphite to fully accommodative plastazote can be used for each custom orthotic.
- Q: What is the cost for additional pairs?
- A: Additional orthotics can be made at a cost of $225/pair. Additional pairs of orthotics can be built to fit sandals, ski boots, dress shoes, and other various footwear. We specialize in performance specific orthotics and have built them for anything from ice skates to dance slippers.
- Q: Can I wash my orthotics? How?
- A: Yes, they can be washed with lukewarm water and mild dishwashing soap.