Will Orthotics Help Me?

Orthotics are devices that are placed in the shoe to put the foot in a neutral position, or provide cushioning depending on the type of orthotic. Orthotics devices are used in foot conditions such as, flat foot, pes cavus (high arched feet), equinus (muscular imbalance limiting upward motion of foot), hammertoes, limb length difference, diabetes, bunions and many other conditions. Orthotics can be custom made or bought over the counter. A plaster cast of the foot is used to send to a lab that makes custom made orthotics, and the orthotics lab can add correction specific to the patients’ needs.

Orthotics fall into two different categories: functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics devices are used to correct biomechanical deformities in the frontal plane, and reduce impact while running or walking. Functional correction is used to reduce abnormal pronation by providing support of the arch, while accommodative orthotics are a soft supportive device used to provide cushioning, and distribute weight bearing pressures evenly across the bottom of the foot. When making orthotics it is important to compensate for limb length differences because even a small difference can cause pathology, and affect gait. Symptomatic differences in limb length usually occur when there is a 4cm or greater difference. Functional orthotics devices are made of semi-rigid material to provide stability, such as graphite or plastic. Accommodative orthotics devices are usually made of softer materials, such as leather or foam to provide comfort. Accommodative orthotics devices are used in conditions such as, diabetes to help relieve pressure.

This is just a brief overview of the various uses and types of orthotics, and is not complete by any means. For some people, orthotics devices are a way to treat foot pain conservatively and avoid surgery. Orthotics devices are sometimes recommended post-operatively to prevent recurrence of various deformities. However, some patients use orthotics devices to provide stability and support to the foot, and prevent injuries. Contact your Podiatrist if you feel that you could benefit from orthotics devices to best determine what type may be right for your foot type. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery offers a wide array of orthotics, utilize several techniques and manufacturers to accommodate our patients individual needs.

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia