Purpose and Function
Orthotics are primarily designed to correct improper body mechanics to reduce dysfunction and/or pain when this cannot be achieved naturally. This works by first causing the foot to adapt to the new surface the orthotic provides, followed by secondary reactions up along the kinetic chain that improve mechanics throughout the rest of the body.
Highline Physical Therapists are certified to develop customized orthotics. The process starts with a thorough gait and movement analysis. Then, you are either fit with Vasyli inserts based on your posture, or a mold will be made out of plaster to capture the unique shape of your foot. Finally, the results of the assessment and mold are then sent out for fabrication.
A biomechanical examination of your foot and lower extremities by a physical therapist is essential in order to fabricate a customized foot orthotic device. The level of structural or functional deformity is determined by taking angular measurements of the foot, ankle, toes, knees and hip. This examination is performed while you lie down on an examining table and also in the standing position. Walking and/or running gait analysis is also done to determine the functioning of the foot during these activities. Any abnormalities found during biomechanical and gait examination are noted and considered during the design and fabrication of the orthotic device.
The next step in the orthotic fabrication process is making of a three-dimensional model of your feet. This is done by application of plaster splints to your foot or by making you step into a box of compressible foam. This three-dimensional model of your foot is sent to the laboratory for orthotic fabrication. Your orthotics will be ready in approximately two weeks.
Not all insurances will pay for custom foot orthotics. Out of pocket expenses may be needed. Please confirm with your medical insurance to determine the rate of reimbursement for custom foot orthotics.