Introductory Orthotic and Pedorthist Information
by Mike Forgrave
What is an Orthotic?
If one were to define “orthotics” it might go something like this, “an orthopedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent, or correct deformities or to improve the function of movable parts of the body” (Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary). There is, however, some mis-information, and mis-representation about what an orthotic entails. it is imperative to understand the difference between several terms: Custom made Orthotics, Customized Orthotics, and Over the counter Orthotics.
Custom Orthotics: These are the orthotics that are designed from raw materials, by a qualified professional, from a mold of your foot.
Customized Orthotics: These are the pre-manufactured orthotics that are modified by a professional based upon your foot and it’s problems.
Over the Counter Orthotics: These devices are pre-manufactured products that one can buy at the store and usually incorporate more cushionig than correction to feet.
Buyer be aware: Make sure that if you are paying hundreds of dollars for this product that it is made from a cast/mold of your foot and manufactured from raw materials. Otherwise it might as well be an over the counter orthotic with only cushioning in mind.
What is a Pedorthist?
A pedorthist is an individual who is trained in the assessment, design, manufacture, fit and modification of foot appliances and footwear for the purposes of alleviating painful or debilitating conditions and providing assistance for abnormalities or limited actions of the lower limb.
The pedorthist provides devices and footwear to assist in:
• Accommodation of foot deformities;
• Re-alignment of anatomical structures;
• Redistribution of external and internal forces;
• Improvement of balance;
• Control of biomechanical function;
• Accommodation of circulatory special requirements; and,
• Enhancement of the actions of limbs compromised as a result of accident, congenital deformity, neural condition, or disease.
What to expect when seeing a Pedorthist
• A thorough hands on assessment including: lower limb muscle testing, range of motion, functional tests and a biomechanical evaluation
• A gait analysis (watching you walk)
• Education with regard to your pain and the management of it
• Recommendations for foot orthotics, footwear and activities
For your appointment:
• Wear loose fitting pants or shorts for your appointment
• Bring or wear the shoes you wear most often (Work footwear, exercise or walking footwear)
• Please note that your visit to Mike Forgrave & Associates (Foot by Foot Inc) is not covered by OHIP. It is the responsibility of the patient to determine insurance company requirements for reimbursement.
• Often times, your extended health carrier (usually through work), may cover some or all of the cost of our services. If this is a WSIB, Social Services, or Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim, please bring your claim number and case worker’s name with phone number. If this is a DVA Claim, please bring patient info number.
• Bring your doctor’s prescription or referral note. Usually, if your coverage is through an extended healthcare insurance plan, there will be a need to have a doctor’s prescription. This documentation should be in our possession before you are fitting for your orthotics.
• Please call the clinic you wish to be seen at and book an appointment (see Locations for the phone numbers)