Custom Orthotics FAQ _______________________________________________________
What’s the difference between custom orthotics and the ones I can buy in stores?
Many commercially available insoles are referred to as “orthotics.” Unlike prescription orthotics, these insoles are not developed specifically for your feet and the problems you are experiencing. When you visit a podiatrist for prescription orthotics, the doctor will assess your foot, complete a bio-mechanical exam and take imprints of your feet. Your orthotics will then be manufactured by a trained professional in an accredited lab. Custom made orthotics are uniquely built to support the misalignment of your feet, help alleviate pain and improve your gait – something that generic insoles are unlikely to achieve.
What types of foot conditions can custom orthotics help?
• Excessive foot pronation (flatfeet)
• Malalignment syndromes
• Children's foot problems including in-toe, out-toe and flatfeet
• Neuromas (burning on ball of the foot)
• Relief of pain caused by bunions, corns and calluses
• Foot pain and fatigue
• Leg pain and fatigue
• Knee pain
• Back pain
• Sports injuries
Can I wear my orthotics in all types of shoes?
Orthotics are transferable between similar types of shoes. If your orthotics were made primarily for walking shoes, they should easily fit into your athletic shoes and other casual/walking shoes. However, you probably won’t be able to wear them in dress shoes or specialized footwear (such as ski boots or skates). When you meet with Dr. Russell to order your custom orthotics, he will advise you if you may benefit from orthotics for specialized footwear.
How should I care for my orthotics?
To clean your orthotics, wash them with mild soap and warm water and leave to air dry. You should regularly remove your orthotics from your shoes to allow them to air out. Finally, do not place your orthotics near sources of heat (space heaters, baseboard heaters, dryers or fireplaces).
How long have orthotics been around for?
Early shoe makers (cobblers) recognized that many people complained of foot pain, especially after traveling long distances. Gradually cobblers began modifying foot pads by adding leather materials to the insides of shoes to create a better, more comfortable fit. Although these early arch supports were beneficial, they were often bulky and heavy. By the early 1900s, electricity and bench grinders made it easier and more efficient to cut and shape leather devices for shoes, making better-quality shoes affordable for more people. In the 1960s a new generation of thermoplastics was born, which was ideal for making light-weight, strong plastic orthotics. Since the 1960s, the art of making custom orthotics has been continually enhanced. Podiatrists have been very involved in the advancement of orthotics and are leaders in orthotics research and development.
Are orthotics covered by insurance plans?
Many private insurance companies include orthotics and podiatric services in their coverage. Coverage can vary greatly from 0% to 100%. Patients should check with their individual insurance plans to find out if they are covered.
How long will it take for my orthotics to be ordered and made?
Once the patient has been casted, the casts are sent to a lab where the orthotics are specially fabricated for the patients unique fit. The patient can expect orthotics to take approximately two weeks to be made. Once they are sent to our office, the patient is immediately called to notify them that they are ready.