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Custom orthotics - problems with

Posted by Deborah PN on 5/30/05 at 15:41 (175900)

I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in January 2005. The podiatrist I go to started with a cortizone shot and then subsequent visits for taping the foot while we were awaiting the custom made orthotics. After receiving the orthotics -- he said he'd see me in 6 months unless I needed to see him before the 6 month follow-up. I returned to him on May 27 because I am not only not better, but my feet hurt more after wearing the orthotics. When he asked me how I was doing, I explained that I was still having trouble. He taped both my feet this time after admonishing me for having tried to help myself in the meantime by doing the following: ice pack on feet at night, foot baths, mild exercises (towel stretch, rolling tennis ball under foot while sitting) saying that this did further damage. After the nurse taped my feet, I asked her if I was supposed to wear the orthotics WHILE my feet were taped. She asked the doctor and he said yes. This is 3 days later and my feet really hurt. I have an appt. tomorrow but I am wondering if I should look for another doctor. My husband is upset because he did not xray my foot again (or MRI)it. His not addressing the issue of the orthotics and blaming me for being proactive in my own healing seems inappropriate behavior for a professional person. I also told him I had been to my chiropractor/massage therapist because my lower back and right hip were so out of alignment from the limp caused by the PF. I made a point of telling him that they did not treat my foot - but he seemed angry and somewhat threatened by my having done so. What would you do if you were in my shoes (no pun intended)? Looking forward to your response. Thank you for your consideration.

Re: Custom orthotics - problems with

Tina H on 5/31/05 at 07:24 (175918)

Deborah- You might get more useful advice if you could describe your orthotics. EX. Are they 1/2sole hard plastic, or cork, or full sole soft etc. Unfortunately sometimes the wrong type of orthotic can aggrevate the pain of pf. I know recently my daughter was casted for 1/2 sole hard 'Footmax' orthotics with a soft covering. They hurt her feet very badly so we had a second pair made (unfortunately another 300$ not covered by insurance) but this time I made sure that they were made by a board certified pedorthist, who makes his own orthotics, doesn't send them out to be made. The second pair are much lighter, softer and full length. My daughter says she doesn't even now that she is wearing them, they are so comfortable. Unfortunately, some of us have wasted money on the wrong type of orthotic before we found something that works.
As far as the other things you were doing, they sound reasonable. Lots of people use ice and nonbearing stretching. I'd be surprised if that made your pf worse. Most people find taping to be helpful and I think it's good that at least your podiatrist took the time to do that. Good Luck, Tina

Re: Tina

Ted on 5/31/05 at 08:59 (175920)


The 2nd pair that you described can you give me more detail about them? What are they made off, do you have a specific name or are they so custom made it doesn't have one? How are they lighter and softer? I'm going to get some Orth's made in a few days and I'm afraid I'm gonna throw 300.00 down the hole? What should I ask before I go? Thanks.

Re: Tina

Tina H on 5/31/05 at 11:04 (175927)

Ted I really don't know what they are made of but they can't weigh more than an ounce or 2. They are 4 layers, the top thin layer is green, followed by a blue thin layer than white and off white. You can flex them and there is a section of blue in the bottom off white layer that is spongy. You can search for a board certified pedorthist at this site,
The place we went to is called Colaizzi Pedorthic Center in Pittsburgh PA
Rich Graham would be able to tell you more. He is a a board certified pedorthist and frequent poster under the orthotic category. They key is to find someone in your area like Rich. I tried to get someone to make molds of my daughter's feet to send to Rich so he could make the orthotics for us, but no one would do it. The pedorthist we went to also sells all the shoes everyone on this site raves about, so it's one stop shopping for your foot needs, just don't forget your wallet! :)
Good Luck, and before you spend $300 find our more about who is making the orthotics. I wish I had. Tina

Re: Softer Orthotics

JanP on 5/31/05 at 12:07 (175930)

When someone makes orthotics on site like the center you named, Tina, are they trained by someone, and are there other places that make them the same way? Does anyone else make them like Dr. Richard does? I'm trying to understand what education or background goes into Drs who fabricate their own orthosis rather than sending them to a lab. So far I haven't found anyone locally who does that, but I live in the booneys....sigh

Re: Softer Orthotics

Tina H on 6/01/05 at 09:53 (175976)

Jan, I don't know what is involved in becoming a board certified pedorthist, but I do know it involves taking classes and then passing an exam. Richard Graham would better be able to answer this question. Maybe he would see it if you post it on the orthotic board. If you check out that web site I posted earlier in this thread there might be some info there. I just know that these orthotics are like nothing I've seen before. They are comfortable for her and there was no breaking in period. We'll see if her pf improves, that will be the real test! Good Luck to you, Tina

Re: Softer Orthotics

Ron on 6/03/05 at 20:38 (176097)

I bought a pair from http://www.ourfootdoctor.com/ and have had great success with them. I don't know whether they are perfect or not, but I didn't pay an arm and a leg for them. They were only $175 and they're pretty darn thin and light.

I've had these for two years with no problems, except for the fact that it didn't fix my feet problems as well as I'd like them to. However, after I got used to them they are barely noticeable in my shoes and I've had no problem using them in any of my shoes.

They send you a foam impression kit at first, then you pay for the orthotic. Some recommend against this, rather opting for casting or compterized analysis, because the foam impression might not match your feet well enough to make an orthotic. Plus you only have one try to get it right.

Besides the caveats, I'm satisfied and you might want to look into it as well.