John A. Brandeisky, DPM, FACFS

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Dr. John Brandeisky

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sporth[1].jpg (5619 bytes)Orthotics are custom molded shoe inserts that are typically called prescription arch supports.  They can be made of leather or a type of plastic.   There are other materials as well for special purposes to achieve specific desired goals.

Procedure:  Your feet are casted with plaster of paris splints that are typically used in below knee casts when legs or ankles are broken.   The feet are held in a specific position known as "neutral position."   The cast is then taken off.  After discussing the foot problem, when it occurs during the day, and taking measurements, the cast is sent to an orthotics manufacturing lab that makes the device to the cast and our specifications to help your foot function better.

It takes the lab 2 to 3 weeks to manufacture the devices.  They are then fitted again to the patient to ensure there has been no mix up.  The patient is asked to walk back and forth in the office to determine if fit and function are good enough to begin the process of getting used to them.  Minor adjustments can be made in the office.   Major repairs or adjustments need to be done at the lab.

Orthotics fit in most men's shoes and sneakers.  There are different kinds of orthotics to fit different shoes, but, changing the orthotic too much removes its ability to correct the problem they are intended for.  Sometimes a change in shoe gear is needed until the pain is eliminated.  It can be more difficult to fit some women's shoes.  It is best to take your orthotics to the shoe store whenever contemplating the purchase of new shoes.  Be sure your shoes together with your orthotics are comfortable for you.

Orthotics are used to prevent bunion pain, heel pain, arch pain, shin splints, at times hip and back pain and a lot of other conditions.  They are a necessary and important step to prevent surgical intervention of bunions, heel spurs, tendon transfers, and other conditions.  They are also a necessary adjunct after surgery as they prevent reoccurrence of what has been corrected by maintaining the foot in proper alignment when walking or running.

If orthotics have been recommended to you, it is important to consider cost.  Unfortunately, they are not covered by most insurance plans and you will want to discuss the fee with our office manager.  Most devices last for 7 to 10 years if properly cared for, and when you consider pain relief, the device becomes a worthwhile investment in your future comfort.



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