Custom Made Orthotics

The use of foot orthotics is serious business!

Patients expect quality, value and reliability when purchasing custom made orthotics. How do you know you are getting good value for your money?

Many factors influence the price of custom made orthotics for a particular patient, including the type of ORTHOTICS, the materials used, the physical condition requiring the ORTHOTICS and very importantly, the amount of follow up visits to monitor the progress and improvement.

No two patients are alike. At the Upper James Foot Clinic & Orthotic Centre we specialize in CONDITION SPECIFIC and ACTIVITY SPECIFIC custom made orthotics: custom made orthotics for heel spur, plantar fasciitis, etc. Different types of foot orthotics are better suited for different activities such as standing or walking on the job, and sport specific orthotics (e.g. golf, skiing). Long distance runners are in a class of their own. Their lower limb conditions may be very challenging requiring special orthotics. Our special focus is on DIFFICULT cases of orthotic treatment. These conditions usually are more “STUBBORN” and may require some extra fine tuning of orthotics or even a remake. In these cases, a new plaster cast may be taken and new orthotics manufactured at no extra cost to the patient.

Upper James Foot Clinic manufactures 100% CUSTOM MADE ORTHOTICS starting from assessment, biomechanical exam, gait analysis, diagnosing, casting of the feet, prescribing and designing the prospected orthotics, manufacturing on site, dispensing and the fine tuning if and when needed. Next to Medical Doctors, Registered Chiropodists/Podiatrists are primary care practitioners with at least 3 years of post grad training. They can DIAGNOSE and TREAT foot conditions by therapeutical and surgical means, as well as PRESCRIBE biomechanical devices such as custom made orthotics.

When you decide to visit a CHIROPODIST they will recommend switching to better fitting, more supportive shoes. Custom made orthotics (devices inserted into shoes to keep the foot positioned properly with adequate support) may also be recommended.

These are the main types of ORTHOTICS:

OVER -THE- COUNTER TYPES, available in drugstores, can ease MINOR heel and arch pain and somewhat offer extra support in a running or walking shoe. Many are too flexible to offer much more than padding, but they can be a good place to start. They cost approximately $20.

PRE-FABRICATED DEVICES are made from semi-flexible materials. They are recommended for painful, persistent calluses and neuromas (nerve inflammation in the ball of the foot). They are available at a chiropodist’s or podiatrist’s office. Some chiropractors can also dispense them for minor biomechanical problems. They cost approximately $100.

PRESCRIPTION ORTHOTICS, custom-molded orthotics, made to fit the foot precisely from a cast taken of the feet and after a thorough biomechanical examination.
They are available ONLY at a foot specialist’s office. They range in price from $400 to $600 and the cost is covered by most extended health insurance plans and includes adjustments if needed and a warranty.

These orthoses can be functional or accommodative:

1. Rigid Orthotics – These functional custom orthotics are precisely crafted to control the motion of specific foot joints which may be directly impacting the alignment of lower extremities thus stabilizing the entire gait cycle. In many cases painful knees are positively affected as well as hips and lower back. Walking shoes or dress shoes usually accommodate them well. Hard plastics or even carbon fiber may be used to fabricate such devices. They may be recommended for heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, etc.

2. Semi-Rigid Orthotics – These functional custom made orthotics are fabricated with different layers of soft materials, then strengthened with stiffer materials. They are constructed in a way that stabilize the feet while playing sports or simply walking. These orthotics work well to lessen foot, ankle, knee, hip or back pain in athletes who are training. Also, they are frequently prescribed to treat children with flat feet, in-toeing or out-toeing disorders.

3. Soft or Accommodative Orthotics – These soft or accommodative custom made orthotics are best suited for patients who have diabetes, ulcers, arthritis, or foot deformities. They are constructed in a way that absorb shock, promote stable ambulation and significantly reduce the weight that is bearing on uncomfortable and sore areas of the feet. They are fabricated with soft and supple materials that provide cushioning for the sole of the feet, from heel to toe.

Consider carefully when you are shopping for a foot specialist. Make sure he or she is registered with the College of Chiropodists of Ontario and has malpractice insurance and a registration number. Ask if they sterilize instruments for every patient to avoid getting infected with H.I.V., Hepatitis, Fungal infections, etc. Be aware that only chiropodists and podiatrists can meet these requirements.

IMPORTANT – When shopping for custom made orthotic devices be aware that you shouldn’t be
paying a high price for PREFABRICATED devices, that are sold without the casting
and biomechanical examination of YOUR feet.