Orthotics Q & A
by Ernest S. Levi, DPM
What are custom orthotics?
Custom orthotics are devices that a podiatrist designs to provide support and provide comfort specifically for your feet. Orthotics are usually shoe inserts but can also be ankle braces. Mass-produced shoe inserts and ankle braces, sold at drug stores or online, may help relieve minor discomfort for some patients but often, these one-size-fits-all aids are ineffective, especially for severe foot pain. Also, they can actually exacerbate problems. At Grand Central Podiatry, Dr. Levi customizes orthotics to precisely fit the contours of each patient’s feet and provide the specific support, realignment, and cushioning needed to provide comfort and help prevent injuries.
What types of foot pain can orthotics help alleviate?
Dr. Levi has effectively used orthotics to treat a wide array of foot-related problems, including plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, diabetic foot ulcers, shin splints, runner’s knee, and foot, ankle, and heel pain.
What is involved in making custom orthotics?
First, Dr. Levi will conduct a complete physical examination of your feet and evaluation of your walk. If orthotics are recommended, he will then use the latest computer technology to capture all of the contours and dimensions of your feet. This information, along with his prescription for adjustments and specific materials to be used, will then be electronically sent to an orthotic laboratory that will manufacture the devices. Your orthotics may take a bit of getting used to. Dr. Levi recommends that you wear them for increasing amounts of time each day until you have fully adjusted. Ultimately, your orthotics should be totally comfortable, eliminate pain and help prevent injuries.
Are custom orthotics affordable?
Like any customized product, orthotics designed for a specific patient are more expensive than mass-produced, one-size fits all versions. However, they will last longer — up to 10 years — and are frequently covered by insurance.
Ernest Levi, DPM | 30 East 40th Street | Suite 401 | New York, NY 10016