Canadian Certified Pedorthists are one of the only foot experts trained in the modification of footwear. Sometimes conditions can be managed with foot orthotics, or footwear alone and modified shoes can make a dramatic difference in a patient’s life.
One common shoe modification is a lift for a patient who might have a leg length discrepancy. This might be a simple quarter inch lift placed inside the shoe for a small leg length difference, or for a patient with a large leg length difference it might require placing a two or three inch lift on the sole of the shoe. By equalizing the length of the legs with the lift we are able to take a great deal of stress off the patient’s pelvis and spine.
Another common modification is a rockerbottom sole. We apply a rounded bottom to the sole of the shoe, and this can take stress off of a fused ankle or toe joint. These joints may have fused naturally through arthritis, or they may have been surgically fused. Rocker soles are often commonly used with diabetics to offload an ulcer on the bottom of their foot.
And another common modification would be a sole wedge, where we apply a wedge to the sole of a shoe to change the angle of it, either inwards or outwards. This would be done to take stress of an arthritic knee. For instance, a patient with a bowed leg would benefit from a wedge tipping the shoe inwards to better align the knee and take stress off the arthritic portion.
These pedorthic modifications can be considerably more affordable than purchasing custom-made shoes, and the patient benefits are priceless.