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Orthotic experience?

Posted by Valerie S on 3/13/01 at 19:22 (041368)

I am wondering what experiences people have had in getting custom orthotics made.

I saw a podiatrist, and after a week of taping my feet for PF, he decided that I might benefit from ($210) custom orthotics.

This doctor looked at my xrays, but he has never asked me to stand or walk for him. I just sit in the chair in bare feet.

They made a plaster cast of my feet (while I was lying on my stomach); I waited 5 weeks for the orthotics to come in. I replaced the removable cork birkenstock insoles with these 'custom' orthotics, and actually felt less support -- He told me to come back in 4 weeks and tell me how I felt. My pain was different, but got progressively worse.

I called 2 weeks into wearing them, and the nurse told me that I just had to get used to them.

When I finally got to see the doctor, he looked at the orthotics (obviously the first time that he had seen my pair). He glued some felt arch support cushions to them (& gave me oral steroid rx) and told me to come back in a week. It seemed quite apparent to me that these custom orthotics were not made to fit my feet at all.

The next week, I asked him to send them back for adjustments, since they are not helping me at all and I can't get a refund... he agreed, but was then asking me if I needed more support or ... I didn't know what I needed. I thought he should be able to tell me the answer. It didn't feel very scientific to me... and now I wait 4 more weeks for my orthotics to come back (and don't feel very confident that they are being custom-made...).

Anyone had a similar experience, or could someone tell me about a successful prescription orthotic they received? Is it normal for this to happen?

Re: Orthotic experience?

Pauline on 3/13/01 at 21:23 (041392)

Sorry to add to your tale, but I have had 3 pairs of custom orthotics and have not been able to wear any of them. I can't tell you the hrs I've spent in travel and adjustment time. There are others with success stories. It goes both ways. I sorry your having so much trouble, but I would keep insisting on adjustments or a new pair. Sometimes I think they just wear you out knowing you will eventually stop returning. Some places are like that. Wishing you better luck than I have had. Like peanuts have become the universal food for all Zoo animals, I think orthotics are prescribed for every foot problem. It doesn't work in either case.

Re: Orthotic experience?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/13/01 at 21:46 (041394)

I would ask them to re-cast you again and start over. There are some people that just can't wear orthosis period. I love peanuts, more then I do orthosis. They take of alot of experience and the ability to know when not to try to use as well as when to use them

Re: Orthotic experience?

Valerie S on 3/13/01 at 22:03 (041399)

Should I be concerned that the doctor has not ever asked me to stand or walk for him? It seems so random.

Re: Orthotic experience?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/13/01 at 22:07 (041403)

There a few ways to evaluate foot function. One is the review of weight bearing x-ray's . I perfer gait analysis and I ( not everyone) feel that it is very important. In fact I just changed my mind you should have a gait evaluation. You should have a range of motion examination and you should have a complete biomechanical examiantion which includes x-ray evalution.

Watching a patient walk is so important.

Re: Orthotic experience?

wendyn on 3/14/01 at 07:56 (041425)

Any time I've ever had orthotics made, or an exam by a doctor - it has involved standing, walking - standing on toes etc. This was a big part of the exam. Always.

Re: Orthotic experience?

Beverly on 3/14/01 at 10:58 (041446)

I've given this two trys. So far, nothing has outdone my Birks. But the last time I got orthodics, I was told I could return them no questions asked within a certain time frame. (I think 1st 30 days.) Alas, I waited too long thinking I'd get used to them.

I would never try orthodics without a money back guarantee or offer to recast. To me, that says the clinic stands behind their work and has self-confidence. I think it also gives them extra incentive to take the time to do it right the first time.
I will probably be willing to try orthodics one more time before I say it just does not work for me.
Best wishes,
Beverly

Re: Orthotic experience?

Elizabeth Bustamante on 3/16/01 at 13:05 (041624)

Valerie, you're not the only one! I think my fitting experience was better, as I had an orthotics specialist devote about an hour to my fitting, including observing my gait and a cast of my feet that was made by my stepping into a box full of some kind of interesting foamy goo (don't think it was plaster). My orthotics were meant to correct valgus and pronation as well as plantar fasciitis. I wore them according to the prescribed schedule and had no foot pain from them, but my legs (probably because they were unaccustomed to being corrected after being wrongly aligned for about 50 years) ached fiendishly--woke me up every night. I can't say that they helped so very much with my heel pain, either.
I feel badly because I didn't follow up with the orthotics, but I got a chance to try some orthopedic running shoes that I heard about called Zcoils. These were designed for runners, but people with foot/knee problems use them too. I liked them so much that I bought a pair. They're goofy-looking but they defy gravity. The shoes have heavy padding in the front, a rigid arch that they adjust to your foot in the shop (at least, they did mine)and a big old coil instead of a heel. I've had them for about three months and they have helped a lot with heel pain and knee troubles. I probably should have followed up with the orthotics, to see if they could be adjusted or whatever, but I was just so tired of the pain in my legs at night. My heel feels pretty good now-- (the one best exercise I have found, BTW, is to write the alphabet in the air with your foot--also didn't get that in therapy)I can get out of bed in the morning and walk down the hall barefooted. My legs don't ache at night anymore. The zcoil shoes are expensive and weird looking but they really helped me. I don't wear them all the time, but I wear them a lot, absolutely for walking. I got mine in Albuquerque, so I don't know where you'd get them. I know they have a website. Cheers!

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

Valerie S on 3/16/01 at 13:39 (041627)

I looked up the Zcoil website: http://www.zcoil.com -- those are some freaky looking shoes alright! Thanks for the tip. I requested a catalog. I wish I could afford a pair right now, I see they list PF as a reason to buy the shoes. Very interesting indeed...

Thanks again.

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

Scott R on 3/16/01 at 16:52 (041652)

I'm looking into stocking them. They're sending me a free pair.

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

Valerie S on 3/16/01 at 17:19 (041658)

Cool! I like the 30 day money back guarantee. I wonder if they make the 'boing' sound... hee hee. And I wonder how much they add to your height.

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

John M. on 3/26/01 at 18:38 (042569)

Zcoils are made right here in good old Albuquerque. They have been in business for 5 years. They have a public stock offering out now. The DPMs and the ortho surgeons here in town are starting to prescribe them. I got a pair today-too soon to tell. I saw them at the State Fair two years ago and thought 'what kind of Dork would wear those'? That was before PF. Next thing you know I will be wearing Bermuda Shorts and black knee socks

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

ellen w on 3/27/01 at 08:13 (042616)

John,thanks for the laugh (a loud one, right out in my office!). I saw this post the other day and thought, 'hmmmm....' If you get a pair, let us know what you think.
ellen

Re: Orthotic experience?

Pauline on 3/13/01 at 21:23 (041392)

Sorry to add to your tale, but I have had 3 pairs of custom orthotics and have not been able to wear any of them. I can't tell you the hrs I've spent in travel and adjustment time. There are others with success stories. It goes both ways. I sorry your having so much trouble, but I would keep insisting on adjustments or a new pair. Sometimes I think they just wear you out knowing you will eventually stop returning. Some places are like that. Wishing you better luck than I have had. Like peanuts have become the universal food for all Zoo animals, I think orthotics are prescribed for every foot problem. It doesn't work in either case.

Re: Orthotic experience?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/13/01 at 21:46 (041394)

I would ask them to re-cast you again and start over. There are some people that just can't wear orthosis period. I love peanuts, more then I do orthosis. They take of alot of experience and the ability to know when not to try to use as well as when to use them

Re: Orthotic experience?

Valerie S on 3/13/01 at 22:03 (041399)

Should I be concerned that the doctor has not ever asked me to stand or walk for him? It seems so random.

Re: Orthotic experience?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/13/01 at 22:07 (041403)

There a few ways to evaluate foot function. One is the review of weight bearing x-ray's . I perfer gait analysis and I ( not everyone) feel that it is very important. In fact I just changed my mind you should have a gait evaluation. You should have a range of motion examination and you should have a complete biomechanical examiantion which includes x-ray evalution.

Watching a patient walk is so important.

Re: Orthotic experience?

wendyn on 3/14/01 at 07:56 (041425)

Any time I've ever had orthotics made, or an exam by a doctor - it has involved standing, walking - standing on toes etc. This was a big part of the exam. Always.

Re: Orthotic experience?

Beverly on 3/14/01 at 10:58 (041446)

I've given this two trys. So far, nothing has outdone my Birks. But the last time I got orthodics, I was told I could return them no questions asked within a certain time frame. (I think 1st 30 days.) Alas, I waited too long thinking I'd get used to them.

I would never try orthodics without a money back guarantee or offer to recast. To me, that says the clinic stands behind their work and has self-confidence. I think it also gives them extra incentive to take the time to do it right the first time.
I will probably be willing to try orthodics one more time before I say it just does not work for me.
Best wishes,
Beverly

Re: Orthotic experience?

Elizabeth Bustamante on 3/16/01 at 13:05 (041624)

Valerie, you're not the only one! I think my fitting experience was better, as I had an orthotics specialist devote about an hour to my fitting, including observing my gait and a cast of my feet that was made by my stepping into a box full of some kind of interesting foamy goo (don't think it was plaster). My orthotics were meant to correct valgus and pronation as well as plantar fasciitis. I wore them according to the prescribed schedule and had no foot pain from them, but my legs (probably because they were unaccustomed to being corrected after being wrongly aligned for about 50 years) ached fiendishly--woke me up every night. I can't say that they helped so very much with my heel pain, either.
I feel badly because I didn't follow up with the orthotics, but I got a chance to try some orthopedic running shoes that I heard about called Zcoils. These were designed for runners, but people with foot/knee problems use them too. I liked them so much that I bought a pair. They're goofy-looking but they defy gravity. The shoes have heavy padding in the front, a rigid arch that they adjust to your foot in the shop (at least, they did mine)and a big old coil instead of a heel. I've had them for about three months and they have helped a lot with heel pain and knee troubles. I probably should have followed up with the orthotics, to see if they could be adjusted or whatever, but I was just so tired of the pain in my legs at night. My heel feels pretty good now-- (the one best exercise I have found, BTW, is to write the alphabet in the air with your foot--also didn't get that in therapy)I can get out of bed in the morning and walk down the hall barefooted. My legs don't ache at night anymore. The zcoil shoes are expensive and weird looking but they really helped me. I don't wear them all the time, but I wear them a lot, absolutely for walking. I got mine in Albuquerque, so I don't know where you'd get them. I know they have a website. Cheers!

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

Valerie S on 3/16/01 at 13:39 (041627)

I looked up the Zcoil website: http://www.zcoil.com -- those are some freaky looking shoes alright! Thanks for the tip. I requested a catalog. I wish I could afford a pair right now, I see they list PF as a reason to buy the shoes. Very interesting indeed...

Thanks again.

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

Scott R on 3/16/01 at 16:52 (041652)

I'm looking into stocking them. They're sending me a free pair.

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

Valerie S on 3/16/01 at 17:19 (041658)

Cool! I like the 30 day money back guarantee. I wonder if they make the 'boing' sound... hee hee. And I wonder how much they add to your height.

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

John M. on 3/26/01 at 18:38 (042569)

Zcoils are made right here in good old Albuquerque. They have been in business for 5 years. They have a public stock offering out now. The DPMs and the ortho surgeons here in town are starting to prescribe them. I got a pair today-too soon to tell. I saw them at the State Fair two years ago and thought 'what kind of Dork would wear those'? That was before PF. Next thing you know I will be wearing Bermuda Shorts and black knee socks

Re: Zcoil shoes... check ''em out!

ellen w on 3/27/01 at 08:13 (042616)

John,thanks for the laugh (a loud one, right out in my office!). I saw this post the other day and thought, 'hmmmm....' If you get a pair, let us know what you think.
ellen