You Ask — We Answer
WHAT IS A PEDORTHIST?
A Pedorthist is a member of the College of Pedorthics of Canada, trained in the manufacturing, fitting and
modification of foot appliances and footwear to assist in:
Alleviating painful or debilitating conditions of the lower limb.
Accommodation of foot deformities.
Re-alignment of anatomical structures.
Redistribution of external and internal forces.
Improvement of balance.
Control of biomechanical function.
Accommodation of circulatory special requirements.
Enhancement of the actions of limbs compromised as a result of accident, congenital deformity, neural condition, or disease.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?
Patients are referred by a prescribing healthcare professional (such as a family physician) and assessed by the Pedorthist. A Pedorthic evaluation includes an examination of the foot and lower limb, as well as a gait assessment, which looks at how you walk or run. With this information, the Pedorthist will educate you on your condition to help you understand what is happening, and what needs to be done to alleviate your symptoms. Different products may be provided, ranging from over-the-counter devices to custom foot orthoses, or footwear recommendations/modifications. A Pedorthist may also recommend home exercises to address problems of the feet, or make a referral to allied health care professionals.
WHAT DOES AN ASSESSMENT COST?
We schedule 60 minutes for an assessment, which includes a biomechanical evaluation, gait analysis, and footwear evaluation. The cost for an assessment is $50.00.
WHAT DO ORTHOTICS COST?
The cost is $475.00, and includes the 60 minute assessment, casting, fitting, and any necessary adjustment of the orthotics for 6 months. Additional pairs are offered at a discounted rate of $385.00 each.
ARE ORTHOTICS COVERED BY OHIP?
No, OHIP does not pay for orthotics. However, many third party insurance plans do. Some people have extended health care benefits through their place of work, or have a private insurance plan. It is always best to check your policy specifically for coverage details, prior to investing in custom orthotics. Most insurers require a prescription from a physician, a complete biomechanical evaluation (see above), and details on the manufacturing of the custom orthotics.
ARE ORTHOTICS GUARANTEED TO WORK?
As with all medical treatments, each person will respond differently to a specific treatment. Orthotics are also typically only one portion of the treatment plan. Often there are home exercises or additional therapies recommended to allow for tissue healing. A patient’s compliance with these recommendations can influence the success or failure of treatment. I take a thorough history, perform a detailed examination, and use 20 years of experience to design the best orthotic for the individual and their circumstances. Together, we can make sure that your symptoms improve and you can get around more comfortably.
HOW LONG DO ORTHOTICS LAST?
With proper care, most plastic-shelled orthotics should last anywhere from 2-5 years. The top and bottom covers may wear out before then, but can easily be replaced for a fraction of the cost of new orthotics.
HOW DO I KNOW THE ORTHOTICS ARE WORKING?
Generally speaking, the goal is to see a slow and steady improvement with the treatment plan (which may include orthotics as well as exercises to be performed at home). The elimination of symptoms can depend on activity level, age/health of the patient, and a number of other criteria. Often, the longer the symptoms were around prior to beginning treatment, the longer they can take to fully resolve…. But not always.