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Foot Orthotics, Do You Have A Pair?

Although Plantar Fasciitis, the medical term for a condition which involves inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, is the number one reason for doctors recommending foot orthotics; these orthotics are highly recommended for a multitude of other conditions. For example, foot orthotics are known to greatly help alleviate pain associated with flat feet, high arches, and even postural deviations which can cause lower back pain.  Many runners and athletes, depend on a well-fitted pair of custom orthotics to prevent many common running injuries such as shin splints and Achilles Tendinitis.

Foot orthotics can be custom fitted, meaning a mold is taken of the patient’s foot and the orthotic is made straight from this mold, or purchased “over the counter”. The over the counter orthotics are much less expensive, but tend to provide less support since they are not custom-molded to the patient’s foot and every person’s foot is different.  The over the counter orthotics usually range from around $30-$50 dollars and will typically last about six to eight months. These over the counter orthotics can be purchased right here in the office and are taken home that same day. They come in many different sizes and styles. Over the counter orthotics come in either a high arch, a low arch, or thin to fit in dress shoes and heels.

As mentioned previously, foot orthotics can also be custom fitted which means the patient is fitted for the orthotics by having a mold, made of plaster, of the patient’s feet. The mold is then used to create the custom fitted orthotics, specifically made to fit the individual person’s feet.  The finished product comes in a large variety of colors and are made in several shapes and sizes.  The orthotics are made of hard plastic, but have a cushioned overlay for comfort.  They are also custom made to fit in all athletic and casual shoes, boots, dress shoes and heels; even sandals, depending on the need of each patient. Due to all that is involved in obtaining a proper fit for this type of orthotic, an office visit and a true consult with the physician is required. Once the patient is properly fitted, it usually takes six to eight weeks for the custom fitted orthotics to arrive at our office.   Once the orthotics are received, the patient comes into the office to try on the orthotics and ensure that a desired fit is achieved.

Luckily, more and more insurance companies are beginning to cover custom fitted orthotics. Here at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, our friendly receptionist will gladly check a patient’s insurance benefits to determine if custom-fitted orthotics would be a covered service prior to the patient’s appointment if necessary.  Unfortunately, if not covered by medical insurance, these custom made orthotics can be a bit pricey, with a price tag of approximately $300. 

Although expensive, the custom orthotics are built to last at least three to five years.  In addition, there is a six month warranty for any adjustments or changes that may be needed.

In closing, regardless of whether or not you are having foot problems, everyone can truly benefit from wearing a pair of custom-fitted or over the counter orthotics.  Foot orthotics balance the feet and redistribute weight over the entire foot alleviating potential problems before they develop. Lastly, the main advantage of custom made orthotics is that each pair is custom built which means that the orthotics can be modified to accommodate specific foot types. Please contact us to see if you’re eligible to have custom made orthotics covered by your insurance and if so, we can easily schedule an appointment for you to be fitted and discuss your specific needs. Otherwise, you can stop by the office to pick up a pair of our over the counter orthotics offered here at Gulf South Foot and Ankle, LLC. 

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