Orthotic Solutions & Care
Well-designed and constructed orthoses have the ability to make a tangible difference to your life, with the power to improve the way you move and feel.
An orthosis (or orthotic) is an external device designed and fitted to the body to modify or correct the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system. This can include foot orthoses for various foot, leg or postural problems, orthoses to protect joints and reduce pain after surgery, or orthoses that provide positional or functional support and address physical deformities or abnormalities.
While our primary focus is on fit, comfort and remedial support, we understand that looks are important, too. Our highly skilled and experienced Orthotists design and manufacture all our orthoses in-house. This ensures your orthosis is as individual as you are and has been crafted to suit your unique requirements.
While ‘off the shelf’ orthoses are widely available for a range of purposes, a bespoke, custom-made orthotic which is especially designed and fitted for you will achieve the best outcomes.
Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics offers a complete range of custom-manufactured orthotics including:
- Upper Limb Orthoses (functional and static arm orthoses)
- Forearm-Wrist Orthoses
- Forearm-Wrist-Thumb Orthoses
- Forearm-wrist-hand orthoses
- Hand orthoses
- Ankle-Foot orthoses (AFOs)
- Offloading orthoses (Ulcer healing orthoses)
- Knee-Ankle-Foot orthoses (KAFOs)
Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics is one of only a few practices in Australia that has invested in state-of-the-art computerised technology to manufacture foot orthotics.
The Amfit Contact Digitizer is used to create a digital file of the contour of the foot. It is unique because it uses hundreds of pins that gently push into the plantar surface of the foot, compressing the soft tissue and providing ‘offloading’ to bony areas to create a precise digital footprint. In addition, Amfit foot orthotics are made from materials that have been specially formulated to prevent an insole from compressing and thinning out, resulting in more effective support and more durable, longer-lasting foot orthotics.
Methods like POP and foam impression blocks are also used to custom manufacture foot orthotics. In certain circumstances, these more traditional methods are still the better option.
Shoe modifications refer to any alteration made to a pair of shoes to provide sufficient support and comfort while improving function.
Our fully-qualified Orthotists are skilled at coming up with practical solutions to address a wide range of conditions and needs – from the simple to the complex. It can be something as basic as fitting velcro straps to shoes to make it easier to don. Or, more complex modifications like fitting a ‘rocker sole’ to improve foot function or remove pressure from a diabetic ulcer. Sole raises to equalize leg lengths, stretching shoes to accommodate bunions or wide feet are also very common requests.
Foot Pressure Analysis
Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics uses the innovative Tekscan Foot Function Analysis system.
In-shoe systems like Tekscan provide detailed information about what is actually occurring inside the shoe. They are the only way to analyse the interaction between the foot and the shoe.
Evaluating plantar pressure using Tekscan provide a better understanding of foot function and a more complete gait analysis, which is then used to the design and manufacture an orthotic. Tekscan can also be used to test insoles for effectiveness and fine-tune an orthotic’s design.
Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics is currently the only practice in Queensland to combine Tekscan Foot Function Analysis with Amfit insole manufacturing technology to produce custom foot orthotics.
Foot orthotics are made for heavy duty use, but even the highest quality orthotics need to be looked after to maximise benefit and longevity.
Your Orthotist will provide practical guidelines for getting used to your orthotics and taking care of them.
Caring for your Amfit Foot Orthotic:
Amfit foot orthotics are made from a special formulated EVA and will not collapse or thin out. Follow these basic steps to get many years of good service out of them.
- It is important to wear the insoles in the shoes they were designed for. If different shoes are to be worn, make sure the insoles don’t curl up when inserted into the shoes. Book an appointment with your Orthotist and bring in any new shoes and have the insoles adjusted.
- Amfit insoles have a very high acceptance rate and can be worn all day from day one. If feet become tender or tired the first couple of days, you may take it out for the rest of the day.
- However, athletes must slowly build up distance using their orthotics. If discomfort or pain is experienced during a run, it is better to remove the insoles and run without any insoles for the rest of the distance. If insoles keep causing pain or discomfort into the third week, adjustments may be needed.
- It is normal after a week or two to feel as if the insole has lost some of its support. Don’t worry, your feet are just becoming accustomed to the support.
- Insoles can be hand washed with a mild laundry detergent. DO NOT use a hard bristle brush to scrub to covering material, a soft brush works best.
- Rinse well with clean water and dry with a towel, leaving them overnight to dry completely.
- If the top covering of your insoles gets damaged, the cover material can be replaced. There is no need to replace the entire insole.
- It is recommended that insoles are replaced every two to three years.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are a type of custom and prescribed medical device designed to correct biomechanical or physiological problems in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and other joints. They are typically made of plastic or metal and are worn to help with issues such as flat feet, fallen arches, over-pronation, and heel pain. They can also be used for injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
Orthotics mainly function to provide cushion and comfort as well as support the abnormal movement of the foot. It promotes proper foot alignment and movement.
What Materials Are APO-Qld’s Orthotics Made of?
Custom orthotics are mostly designed with firm materials such as carbon fiber, EVA’s and plastic. This makes it possible to immobilize or allow a certain degree of controlled movement in a limb.
APO-QLD’s orthotics are made of skin friendly materials that can be molded into different shapes and sizes. This material does not contain any harmful chemicals or toxins that can harm the children who use them. They are designed to provide excellent comfort and protection for the patient.
What Are the Most Common Types of Orthotics?
There are two types of orthotics – static and dynamic. Static orthotics can be made from a variety of materials and keep the limb in a fixed/non-moveable position. Dynamic orthotics on the other hand allow a certain degree of movement to control range of movement. Orthotics with joints or made from soft flexible materials are mostly dynamic orthotics.
What Is the Purpose of Foot Orthotics?
Foot orthotics are prescribed medical devices that can be worn inside the shoes to correct foot issues and to address problems on how you walk, stand or run. They are also used to manage foot pain caused by medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and bursitis. They can also reduce the risk of injuries and stress fractures due to knee pain, medial tibial stress syndrome, and plantar fasciitis.
What Are the Benefits of Foot Orthotics?
Orthotics distributes the pressure on your feet. They also aid in reducing risks caused by pressure ulcers and other foot abnormalities. Other benefits of orthotics include:
- Better balance
- Reduced pain in the legs and lower limb joints
- Reduced lower back pain
- Fewer calluses, corns, and bunions
- Improves posture
- Aids in standing longer periods of time
- Helps one walk farther without experiencing pain
How Much Do Orthotics Cost?
The cost of orthotics depends on the type and design that your Prosthetist recommends. Custom made orthotics can start anywhere between $50.00 to $12,000.00. NDIS and some health insurances cover orthotics costs. You can check this with your orthotics provider. Off-shelf orthotics are cheaper ranging from $40 to $1,000.00.
How Long Does It Take to Get Used to Orthotics?
Wearing an orthotic may cause pain and/or discomfort during initial use. The sensation can disappear within two to four weeks. This is practically the same with other types of medical devices attached to the body. In many cases follow up appointments are necessary to adjust pressure areas caused by the brace.
How Often Should Orthotics Be Replaced?
Orthotics are evaluated yearly by your orthotist to be able to check for wear and tear. For kids, evaluations are more frequent due to the growth spurt among young children. Thus, most orthotics are replaced every six months to a year for younger children and every 2/3-years for adults.
How Many Hours a Day Should I Wear Orthotics?
It would be best to start with two to four hours when wearing your orthotics. You can increase them to an hour or two a day as soon as your body starts to adjust to moving with it. It may take two weeks or more before a patient begins to feel comfortable wearing orthotics. For some, it may take 3-5 days before they can wear them full time without discomfort.