When I’m away from my clinic and I tell people I am a Canadian Certified Pedorthist the response is often a blank look followed immediately by “a what?” I love my profession so I am more than happy to spend time explaining what I do and why it is such a rewarding career. This is what I tell the many people who ask:
As a Canadian Certified Pedorthist, I am a member of my patients’ healthcare teams. I assess and consult with patients following a referral from their family physician or another healthcare professional. It is similar to the relationship a doctor has with a pharmacist. With a doctor’s prescription, I provide orthotics, footwear or other services to help improve the patient’s condition and to help alleviate pain, abnormalities and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet.
My goal is to help my patients achieve and maintain proper foot care and lower limb health and live healthy active lives. To become a Canadian Certified Pedorthist, I underwent rigorous post graduate training in the assessment of lower limb anatomy and muscle and joint function and received specialized education in designing, manufacturing and fitting foot orthotics and orthopaedic footwear.
Every day I consult with a wide range of patients, from children to seniors, professional athletes to weekend warriors, about an array of lower limb and foot conditions, including: diabetes, arthritis, leg length discrepancies, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, hammer tones, bunions, sports injuries, foot trauma and more. My days are interesting and varied as every patient is unique.
When I first meet with a patient I assess their feet and lower legs and evaluate how they walk. Based on this assessment and the prescription from their doctor, I may recommend a custom foot orthotic, orthopaedic footwear, a modification to their existing shoes, or simply that they purchase different, more appropriate everyday or athletic footwear. Some patients require a combination of treatments while others may need only one. Another important part of my job is making sure making sure my patients’ footwear and foot orthotics, if required, fit perfectly and that they are always wearing appropriate shoes.
Like all Canadian Certified Pedorthists, I am committed to ensuring my patients receive the highest level of quality in care. I spend a lot of time with each of my patients, both during the initial assessment (which can take up to an hour) and in follow up. This time enables me to fully educate them about their foot condition and the appropriate treatment. By spending time with my patients and collaborating with their teams of healthcare professionals from various disciplines, I am able to ensure them the best of care and get them pain free and back on the road to mobility as quickly as possible.
By Mike Forgrave, C. Ped (C)