A foot orthotic is a custom -made biomechanical device designed from a plaster casted, or foam impressed , or computer scanned mold of the bottom and a portion of the sides of the foot. Orthotics can be full length ( from heel to tip of toes ) or partial length. Orthotics can be functional to assert control on the foot (usually a more rigid material), or can accomodate tender areas, or sores, using combinations of softer materials and off loading techniques. Orthotics can be used for sport, working, walking and in a variety of other circumstances.
An orthotic is not the same as a pre-made, off the shelf, or TV ordered or other non prescription adjustable arch support, or an ordinary insole of a shoe. That is not to say that non-custom products are not useful. In this office, these less expensive alternatives to custom orhotics are sometimes first used to test whether or not the custom Orthotic is really necessary, or to help predict if a custom device has a reasonable chance of helping your problem. Since a custom device also takes time to manufacture, interim devices can be a useful stop-gap measure.
When used in conjunction with a proper shoe, their use may support or align the foot ; help relieve pain; prevent or correct some deformities; improve or protect the function of other joints and structures, and help maintain certain post operative corrections and improvements.
Insurance coverage varies. Some insurances will not cover these ( or other durable medical products ) at all.
Others, such as HighMark Blue Shield PPO Blue, will cover orthotic use, in the appropriate medical necessity situations for , a wide variety of symtpoms including painful heel spurs, plantarfasciitis, symtpomatic bunions, painful deep unresolvable corns, neuromas, hammertoes, excessively high arches, and in some instances, knee pain and lower back pain. Diabetics often received special insurance considerations. We can check the specifics of any insurance plan you have.
Rest assured, if you make an appointment in this office, we will together decide on what option of any care is best for you as we evaluate your diagnosis, level of pain, and other circumstances. To use, or not use, a custom or non-custom arch support, is one of the many parts of the puzzle that will be considered.