Working Together: Healthcare Providers and Pedorthists
A Canadian Certified Pedorthist – C. Ped (C) – is one of the very few healthcare professionals educated and trained in how to assess, modify, design and fit custom-made orthotics, footwear modifications and footwear.
Including a Canadian Certified Pedorthist in a patient’s healthcare team, adds specialist expertise in the treatment of mechanical foot pain, abnormalities and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet. Canadian Certified Pedorthists spend up to one hour in their initial patient assessment to look at the whole ‘mechanical foot’ picture and then provide the correct treatment in collaboration with the patient’s referring healthcare provider.
Once a referral is received, a pedorthist:
- conducts a thorough clinical assessment, biomechanical examination and gait analysis
- develops an evidence-informed treatment program based on assessment findings including recommendations for orthopaedic products
- designs the orthopaedic products indicated (as well as manufacture the products)
- dispenses the orthopaedic product along with relevant education and information
- provides the necessary follow up and adjustments to optimize outcomes
In order to determine the need and design of custom-made foot orthotics, orthopaedic footwear, footwear modifications and custom-made footwear, a very thorough clinical assessment, biomechanical examination and gait analysis must be performed to determine if one of these products is an appropriate treatment for the presenting medical condition. Only qualified foot care professionals have the expertise, training and education required to assess, develop a treatment plan, design, manufacture, deliver and modify these orthopaedic products.
When to Refer to a Pedorthist:
Pedorthists can help your patients when:
- foot structure affects function of the foot (e.g. when significant pes planus affects the function of the tibialis posterior muscle and tendon)
- disease process affects normal function (e.g. when diabetes complications such as neuropathy lead to tissue breakdown, or when rheumatoid arthritis leads to joint function)
- deformities affect function (e.g. significant leg length discrepancy affects hip and pelvis function, or fixed plantarflexed ray overloads the 1st MTP joint complex, or calcaneal exostosis limit Achilles tendon function)
- chronic overload of soft tissue inhibits healing (e.g. overload of the plantar fascia under daily weightbearing demands)
- external pressures create sores or pain (e.g. improper fitting footwear creates callous, corns or ulcers)
- poor balance is present
Pedorthists help treat a range of foot and lower limb conditions including:
Successful outcomes are highly dependent on the collaboration of healthcare professionals from many disciplines to ensure a high-level of quality in patient care.