Orthotics are a complex topic, with hundreds of variations existing to address the individual needs of the patients they’re designed for. Selecting the right orthotic to properly address your concern can be overwhelming, and you may wonder if one exists at all. Orthotics are available to meet the needs of those experiencing a temporary injury and for those who are living with a chronic condition. Your foot and ankle specialist will consult with you to find the proper solution for your condition and get you fitted with an orthotic that will relieve your pain, improve mobility, and aid in healing.
Custom Orthotics Are Often One Of A Kind, Specifically Designed For Each Patient
Custom Orthotics And What Concerns They Can Address
The term custom orthotics refers to specially designed food and ankle braces that are specifically made to address individual concerns. In many cases, these orthotics will be custom-fitted, designed, and produced for a single patient with the specifics of their concern in mind. This means that your orthotic is likely to be one of a kind. Concerns that are commonly addressed with custom orthotics include:
- Bone Fractures – Repairing a broken bone usually starts with a molded cast that is worn while the initial healing takes place. Once this molded cast is removed, it’s often replaced with a custom orthotic that will help as you finish the healing process. It helps to reduce the range of motion to limit the possibility of accidental re-injury.
- Foot Drop – Most often appearing as a secondary condition, foot drop can make normal walking almost impossible. This custom orthotic is known as an Ankle-Foot Orthotic, or AFO is capable of correcting foot alignment in a way that permits normal walking.
- Foot Pain – Foot pain can come from a variety of sources, including diabetes, bursitis, arthritis, and plantar fasciitis.
There is a range of other orthotics as well, but they are for conditions that fall outside the realm of the ankle-foot specialty. These include orthotics for cerebral palsy and scoliosis, among others. When used for foot and ankle problems creating these orthotics begins with a mold of your foot and possibly your ankle. These molds are used to create an orthotic that will match your specific concern and help provide the comfort, relief, and support you need.
How Custom Orthotics Are Made
Since every patient is different, it’s necessary to make a custom mold to begin the creation of a custom orthotic. These molds provide precise measurements that make sure that the orthotic fits comfortably and securely while providing the needed support. In many cases, this mold is taken using a physical medium, though recent innovations have introduced digital impressions as an option. Physical mediums can include a foam box that the patient steps down in to get the impression, while more comprehensive molds require the use of plaster to create a 3D Model. Do you want to explore more options that may be available to you? Reach out to your ankle and foot specialist and schedule an appointment today.