|Neutral position plaster foot moulds are obtained by placing the patients foot in a foam impression box. This is the preferred method of casting since the examiner is able to achieve Subtalar Neutral position of the patients foot. This is crucial since the reason that a foot orthoses is prescribed is because the foot falls out of neutral position leading to foot, lower leg and pelvic imbalances. Other casting methods do no allow the examiner to maintain this posture of the foot while casting.|
Custom Orthotics vs Computerized
A Custom orthotic is produced from each patients individual positive foot mould. A custom device will accurately address the patients particular and unique biomechanical issues with optimum success.
Computer generated orthotics use an injection moulding method to mass produce a variety of prefabricated shells. These prefabricated products may then be slightly modified or "customized" to mimic the look of a custom orthotic. A prefabricated product cannot effectively treat a patients concerns since the device was not meant for their foot to begin with. All the modifications and adjustments will never make them a truly custom orthotic. Some insurance companies will not cover these type of devices - check your policy.
"Bells and Whistles" Although to the general public these high-tech systems may look impressive, all they are really doing is playing on their perception of what a computer can do these day's. The only real useful data obtained by this method is the length and width of the patient's feet. This alone will not suffice. This method does not give a 3 dimensional image of the foot in a non weight bearing subtalar neutral position in which to manufacture a corrective device. It does give the pressure of the foot during gait however this data cannot be transformed into relevant information. This information is based on a two dimensional image of a foot that has already failed biomechanically. There is no mathematical equation in existence that will take this data and transform it into a three dimensional image of the foot in a non weight bearing subtalar neutral position. It is this neutral position that is the essence of a truly corrective custom foot orthoses. Therefore computer generated orthotics are not custom.