FAQ - Orthotics
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FAQ - Orthotics

What are functional foot orthoses?

In the context of podiatric medicine, an orthotic can be described as any in-shoe device that alters foot function. The London Podiatry Centre prescribes foot orthoses after in depth biomechanical analysis. Whilst orthoses do change movement, they have their greatest effect by altering the stress exerted on tissues including ligaments, tendons, joints and bones. Orthoses are prescribed using advanced 3D laser scanning techniques and they are made by means of a computerised milling process. This ensures optimal accuracy and longevity.

How much do orthoses cost and can I get these on my insurance?

Orthoses vary in price from as little as £5 to £300 for complex computer designed and generated devices. A few insurance companies will cover orthoses.

What is special about your orthotic service?

Orthoses are designed with the assistance of advanced technology which includes the use of a three dimensional laser scanner. They are manufactured using a computerised milling process which replaces more old fashioned hands on technology. The orthoses are manufactured with the assistance of an expert CAD CAM engineer so offering a unique degree of adaptability in their manufacture.

A key factor the sets the centre apart from others is the highly scientific way in which orthoses are prescribed. Rather than simply issuing an orthotic, assuming that it functions in a certain way, orthoses are routinely tested to ensure that they improve the patients' biomechanics. Key variables such as pressure distribution, force and timing are measured. Changes are made to the device in our onsite laboratory to ensure optimal function.

Whilst there are literally hundreds of types of orthoses on the marked, the London Podiatry Centre offers three types of device according to the accuracy, longevity and cost.

Type one is manufactured using our sophisticated 3D scanner which allows for the manufacture CAD CAM (computer assisted design and manufacture) devices which are extremely accurate, thin and long lasting.

Type two is a semi-customised device which continues to use CAD CAM using a best fit approach where the device has been predesigned.

Type three is a simpler type of device where a good quality pre made orthotic is adapted according to the patients specific circumstances.

How long do orthoses last ?

All types of orthotic (types 1, 2 and 3) should last for 5 years although this can be much longer. Some London Podiatry Centre patients have had their orthoses for over 10 years. Soft covers and additions require more frequent replacement but should last at least one year although this may vary with usage.

What happens if an orthotic is not comfortable?

Rarely, orthoses may prove uncomfortable and require adjustment. Patients tolerate different levels of control and some people with more sensitive feet may require greater cushioning or a more flexible type of orthotic. The Centre does not charge for adjustments or re-makes if orthoses are not comfortable, providing that the patient returns within a month of receiving them.

Why do some practitioners prescribe "soft orthoses" and others more "rigid or semi rigid" devices?

Soft orthoses made from various types of foam material often seem instinctively more comfortable and desirable to patients. However, these types of devices distort more rapidly and offer less control and reduced value for money.

At The London Podiatry Centre, highly accurate orthoses are manufactured and designed with the aid of computerised technology. The shells are resilient offering some flexibility but the cushioning comes from soft "top covers", thus achieving the ideal balance between accuracy, longevity and comfort.