For many people, foot discomfort can be a debilitating experience affecting their everyday activities. Complex foot and ankle pathologies can affect anyone; either elite or recreational athletes, or someone who does not participate in sport at all. In general the feet are very complicated structures consisting of numerous bones, muscles, and other tissues that constantly handle shock-absorbing requirements while moving us from one place to the next. In most cases this discomfort can be prevented if properly treated with a pair of well designed custom made foot orthoses (insole). The relief provided is obtained by providing support to the structures of the feet utilizing various materials and casting techniques. After conducting a thorough assessment a Certified Orthotist or Certified Pedorthist will determine what materials and casting technique to use. It is important to review each patient’s condition independently to be able to provide the correct foot orthoses for their pathology and the environment in which the foot orthoses are being used.
Why do I need foot orthotics?
Foot orthotics are devices designed to restore your natural foot function. While flat feet is the most common biomechanical complaint we address, there are many other complaints such as; heel, arch, shin, achilles, knee and lower back pain. These concerns are caused by poor foot function. Where possible, foot orthotics re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, thereby restoring natural foot function. In turn, this helps alleviate problems in other parts of the body.
*If your private insurance company requires a gait analysis or biomechanical report please indicate this to one of our client coordinators. Letting us know ahead of time will prevent any delay in your reimbursement claim as we can prepare the information in a more timely manner.
All Orthotics Are Not The Same!
When we say something is custom made, it is 100% custom made. All custom items are manufactured to a mold of a patient obtained via casting procedure or digital impression. All devices are manufactured by our well trained Orthotic Technicians in our in-house laboratory which is located above our clinic. There are many options when considering a custom fit or custom made device. This is why we suggest all patients book an appointment for a free assessment to provide them their best options. We also do not charge for follow up appointments if required, and any adjustments are done on the premises while the patient waits.
In the community you will find different types of in-shoe devices that are referred to as “orthotics” (medical term – orthoses). Insoles, arch supports and other ready-made products including “stand on here” systems that make quick recommendations are not custom orthotics. Systems that have you walk across a special pressure mat fall short in regards to providing adequate information for manufacturing custom orthoses. Despite the colourful pictures, these systems only measure pressure; they do not and cannot capture the unique 3-dimensional shape of your foot. While good for gait/pressure information they are not a good tool in regards to the manufacturing of the orthoses.
Custom made orthotics should only be made after a thorough biomechanical assessment and accurate orthotic design using 3-dimensional impressions of your feet taken by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional. Karl Hager Limb & Brace Certified clinicians and technicians manufacture many different types of orthotics for a wide range of conditions and an even wider range of activities. Every foot and foot condition is different and so is every orthotic we manufacture.
Foot Orthotics – Crafted Purely For YOU!
We do not require a prescription however, most paying agents require a prescription that is dated prior to us fitting you with your orthoses. In most cases your doctor or other health care professional can prescribe orthotics. Please provide the prescription upon checking in for your appointment at Karl Hager Limb & Brace and prior to be assessed by your Certified Pedorthist or Certified Orthotist.
The biomechanical assessment will consist of the following:
- A thorough history and lower extremity biomechanical assessment including orthopaedic assessment and clinical gait analysis
- Footwear analysis and recommendations
- A 3-dimensional impression of your feet via traditional casting, foam impression, or 3D contact digital method
Your custom made orthotics will be unique to your condition, activity level and to the footwear in which they will be used. Your clinician will design the device based on their assessment findings and the prescription instructions from you health care professional.
Your orthoses will be manufactured at our in house lab which is located above our head office in Edmonton. The highly skilled technicians at our lab may use CAD/CAM technology or traditional hand craftsmanship to manufacture your orthotics. CAD/CAM technology allows us to use specific density foams which are 100% custom milled to the shape of your foot. Our traditional processes involve laminating materials layer by layer over the plaster casts of your feet. Either option requires sanding of these materials and a specific top cover, some of which have anti bacterial and anti odour properties.
Typically in one week following the order you will be fit with your brand new custom made orthotics. At your fitting appointment the orthotics will be interfaced to your footwear and be checked for proper fitting to your feet and your footwear. You will be provided break-in instructions and any follow-up appointments required.
Some conditions require more interventions than a custom orthotic. For these cases, we modify stock footwear to suit specific requirements. In some cases we add an external lift to a shoe for leg length discrepancies and stretch a shoe for bunions in others. Being able to apply shoe modifications will be determined greatly by the type of shoe as not all shoes can be modified.
Foot Orthotics for Children
We offer several options for children and young adults. With custom orthotics for children 12-years-old and under, we offer a special discount program that makes growth related replacement orthotics more affordable. We also offer less expensive pediatric over-the-counter orthotics that can be customized for certain conditions.
Common Pediatric conditions:
- Pediatric Flatfoot
- Excessive In-toeing/Out-toeing
- Growth-related injuries
- Sever’s disease
- Leg-Calf Perth’s disease
- Sports Injuries
- Ankle sprains
- Patellofemoral pain
Second Pair $75.00 Discount:
Many patients who require custom foot orthotics may benefit from having two pairs. Here are some reasons why:
1) Different Designs – One pair can be a cushioning/semi-rigid design while another more rigid depending on application.
2) Convenience – In most cases, foot orthotics can be transferred from shoe to shoe. That is not always the case and this is especially true when transferring from runners to dress shoes. That's why having two different styles is beneficial.
3) Cleanliness – Alternating your foot orthotics allows them to dry.
4) Save Money – Benefit from a $75.00 discount* on the second pair.
5) Durability – When using two pair, they will last longer when compared to using one and transferring them.
*Discount is not applicable to already discounted children’s foot orthotics nor claims paid by a third-party stakeholder (i.e. AISH, NIHB, WCB, etc.). Second pair must be ordered within 60 days of initial pair.
What else should I know about foot orthotics?
When you are first fit with your orthotics, there is often an adjustment time in which you need to become accustomed to them. If your orthotics are uncomfortable or cause cramping, an adjustment will probably be required. This is not unusual, but should be addressed. Any soreness of the foot when wearing the orthotics should also be addressed. You should give the foot orthotics adequate time to “break in” before requesting adjustments. Usually 2 - 3 weeks is a good time frame. You may find discomfort in your ankle, knee, hip, or back when initially wearing your new orthotics. If this is occurring after following the “break in” period guide, you should make an appointment to have your clinician check the orthotic fitting. There is NO CHARGE for any adjustments we do.