A custom-made orthosis is a highly effective shoe insert that is developed specifically for each individual patient.
The primary function of an orthosis is to redistribute forces applied to the foot in an effort to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by a variety of conditions.
An effective custom-made orthosis can result only from a casting process that produces an accurate three-dimensional model designed to capture the contours of the patient’s foot in the desired posture.
A wide variety of orthotic designs and material combinations are used, including polypropylene and graphite, to varying densities of ethyl-vinyl-acetate (EVA) foam and combinations of natural materials such as cork with soft, shock-absorbing polyurethane foams to name a few. The list of potential raw materials utilized in the fabrication of foot orthoses is extensive.
Custom-made foot orthotic devices are fabricated using different methods, materials, and technologies. They should be fabricated with consideration of the assessment findings and treatment plan for each individual patient. In designing an individual’s orthotic device, the pedorthist must consider such factors as:
- foot structure and lower limb biomechanics;
- severity of deformity;
- fixed or flexible;
- presenting medical conditions;
- body weight;
- other health conditions: systemic diseases, (arthritis, diabetes, CMT, lymphedema);
- neurological or vascular issues, allergies;
- lifestyle (type of work, physical activity and intensity); and
- footwear options and choices.
Only a trained professional using three-dimensional moulds of the foot can produce a highly effective custom-made orthosis. While over-the-counter orthoses have some value, only custom-made orthoses, created from three-dimensional models, can provide the specificity required to address an individual patient’s needs.
VIDEO: What is an Orthotic?