Orthotics and Podiatry

The preparation of orthoses is one of the most important services offered by podiatrists to alleviate otherwise painful and debilitating foot and ankle conditions. Through the design and application of individualised orthoses, podiatrists can treat conditions like bunions, flat footedness, clubfoot, arthritis, and diabetic foot. In this article we look at what exactly orthotics are and how they help podiatrists deliver quality care in the UK.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are any medical device used to change the shape and function of the muscular and skeletal systems. For podiatrists, orthotics are applied to the lower limb to achieve these goals as a solution to issues affecting the foot and ankle.

Orthotics are designed to:

  • Help normal and health movement, often by restricted abnormal movement caused by a deformity.
  • Provide support and cushioning for weight bearing parts of the foot that may be injured or stressed.
  • To help rehabilitate a part of the body after injury or surgery.
  • Alleviate pain and discomfort to restore function to a part of the body.

Orthotics are designed based on an understanding of the body’s anatomy and an understanding of the mechanics of an injury. Podiatrists are trained in both of these areas, and are therefore able to produce orthotics that are customised to an individual’s needs.

There are a number of different lower limb orthoses specifically designed to treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and knee, and these are detailed below.

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