Custom Foot Orthotics /Shoe Inserts
The foot is the foundation of the body and if the foundation is not supported correctly the ankles, knees hips and back can be directly affected. Many diagnoses can be treated with orthoses including Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splints, Hallux Limitus (big toe arthritis or decreased motion), arch pain, foot fatigue, flat feet, high arches, knee pain and calcaneal apophysitis (heel pain in children and teenagers), achilles tendinitis, limb length discrepancies etc. Combined with a sturdy shoe, the orthotic can support the foot in a neutral position and afford the wearer pain relief and comfort.
The Salt Lake Podiatry Center has been creating and fitting custom foot orthotics in our office for 70 years. We have adopted and modified the technique first described by Richard Schuster a sports medicine Podiatrist who practiced in NY treating large numbers of runners. For the last 35 years our clinic has provided the Utah Jazz basketball team and other professional and semi-professional athletes with orthotics and shoe recommendations creating one of the lowest foot and ankle injury rates in the NBA.
Our clinic also provides custom inserts and shoe ordering assistance for those who qualify for Diabetic Shoes to help prevent ulceration and wounds. Medicare will pay for one pair of shoes and three pairs of accommodative inserts each year if certain criteria are met (Diabetic with vascular or sensory issues).
We begin the fabrication process by taking a plaster mold of the patients feet. The entire bottom of the foot is captured in a neutral semi-weightbearing position, or whichever position the Doctor desires the patient's orthotics to hold them in depending on the problem being treated. In my training I had the opportunity to see many different casting methods and fabrication processes demonstrated and this version consistently provides the most comfortable and effective orthotic therapy.
Once the casts have been allowed to dry and harden for 24 hours, they are ready to be filled with plaster to create the positive mold.
The positive molds are corrected of any defects and modified as needed. They are then placed in a vacuum press and covered with heated polypropylene and allowed to cool.
The cooled polypropylene orthotic is then ground down to size and specified length depending on the problem being treated. This process takes about 2-3 days.
At this point the patient is encouraged to wear the orthotics for 1-2 two weeks to become accustomed to the fit and feel of the device. Heel posts and top-covers can then be added with offloading areas with foam or cork as needed for comfort and treatment purposes.
This entire process is labor intensive and can take up to 3 days. We currently charge $375 for a pair of orthotics and $200 for multiple pairs. Our experience has shown that they will often last and be quite functional for up 10 years if not longer. If you add up the cost of buying cheaper over the counter orthotics for $30-50 every 3-4 months, the price begins to even out and you get a much more effective product. We have found this form of orthotic to be the most effective at relieving a variety of foot problems.
The cost of the orthotics also includes the follow up visits necessary to modify and fit them to the patient until a high level of comfort is reached.
If you are in need of custom orthotics, please contact our clinic 801-532-1822.
We also provide Diabetic shoes and 3 pairs of inserts as covered by Medicare each year for Diabetic patients. We use a three layer insert for cushion and custom fit that can be placed in a large variety of Diabetic approved shoes that are extra depth. The molds are made from impressions captured in foam boxes.
Please call our office with any questions or concerns you may have regarding custom orthotics or diabetic shoes.
To schedule an appointment please call 801-532-1882 or go to our clinic's website at: www.saltlakepodiatrist.net.
Dan Preece, DPM & Darren Groberg, DPM