Orthotic Shoes and Inserts

Also known as: prescription orthotics, custom orthotics.

What are orthotic shoes and inserts?

Though shoe inserts are available off the shelf to help with a variety of foot problems, the word “orthotic” indicates a custom insert or shoe that is specially designed for your feet and prescribed by an orthopedist. They can be used to help treat a wide variety of foot- and leg-specific problems or other medical conditions such as diabetes.

Although orthotics may not change a persons feet, they can be used to give additional support and comfort.

What happens during the treatment?

To help patients get the right orthotic shoes or inserts, a orthopedist will begin with a medical history, listen carefully to the problems that the patient is experiencing and examine the feet and how the patient walks. Other advanced technology may be used to further examine the movement of the feet during running or walking.

Based on this data and advanced measurements of the feet taken by the an orthotist, a set of custom inserts or shoes can be created that are specifically tailored to the patient’s needs.

Is any special preparation needed?

In some cases, shoes or inserts available without a prescription may provide the solution for a patient’s problems. An orthopedist can help determine whether an off-the-shelf option is acceptable, or a custom orthotic is needed.

What are the risk factors?

There is a slight risk that the custom orthotic will not improve a patient’s condition or potentially make it worse, but this is unlikely to occur.

Reviewed by: Avi C. Baitner, MD

This page was last updated on: March 30, 2021 02:34 PM

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