After you were fitted with your orthotics, your Podiatrist would have organised an initial orthotic review visit. This visit would have been organised approximately two to four weeks after your initial orthotic fitting to check that your orthotics were fitting well, feeling comfortable, and you were noticing an improvement with their wear.
While this review is essential, it’s just as important to have an annual review of your orthotics, too.
Why Do My Orthotics Need To Be Reviewed After 12 Months?
As most patients start with one pair of orthotics instead of multiple pairs, it means they’re constantly wearing them and moving them from one pair of shoes to another. This puts a lot of strain on the orthotic, and they will naturally show signs of wear and tear over time.
Our orthotics are designed to have the perfect balance between durability and comfort, meaning that they don’t have an unlimited lifespan as the premium materials we use allow for cushioning, shock absorption, comfort and functionality (encouraging your feet and legs to move a certain way). This means the materials will eventually wear down.
When they do wear down, they won’t offer the same level of support and comfort that they initially did. While this may not affect their function initially, over time this may mean that you no longer have the support you needed to help manage your original problem, and you risk your pain returning.
What To Expect At Your 12 Month Review Visit
Most review visits take approximately 20 minutes, however, if you’ve got some aches and pains, we’ll normally allow 30 minutes for the appointment. During your visit your Podiatrist will:
- Review orthotic wear and tear – You’ve invested good money into your orthotics, so it’s important to make sure they are working correctly to support your feet and legs. If an area is showing signs of excessive wear, reinforcing may be required, which will prolong their lifespan
- Check covering materials – Covers are placed on the upper surface of the orthotics to protect the underlying materials, while adding comfort and cushioning. If covers are worn or not present, the underlying materials will wear out faster. We can replace your covering material without needing to create a new set of orthotics
- Review your current footwear – Footwear can have a huge impact on the success or failure of your orthotics, so it’s important to make sure you’re wearing the best shoe for you, your feet and your orthotics. As many people will have purchased new shoes over the course of the year, this is a great opportunity to review how your current orthotics are fitting to these shoes
- Review your initial symptoms – Ideally, we’d like to see you still be symptom-free the following year, but sometimes this is not the case and your orthotics may require additional support or adjustments to best suit the changes that have occurred with you and your feet over the past year. We can also consider whether other therapies, such as shockwave therapy or foot mobilisation, may help your symptoms
- Review prescribed exercises – Patients often forget how to do exercises and the one-year orthotic review is an ideal time to go over them again
- Review strength and flexibility – If exercises are not being performed properly, certain muscles may become tighter or weaker than what is ideal for optimal function. We’ll review your strength and flexibility and make a plan to get you back on track where needed
- Review the joint range of motion – It’s really important to make sure the joint of your big toe, the ankle joint, and the knee joint have normal range of motion. If any one of these three joints has limited motion it will have a direct effect on other joints, and may result in pain, discomfort and injury
- Visual walking assessment – Often your Podiatrist will want to see you walk again to see how your feet are moving in your current orthotics and footwear. This may not be a full biomechanical assessment or video gait analysis unless this is necessary, which your podiatrist will discuss with you first
Perfect Time To Order Additional Pairs
During your 12-month orthotic review visit you may also decide to order an additional pair of orthotics. Additional pairs are made at a reduced rate and many patients find obtaining additional pairs of orthotics quite convenient, especially if they’re moving one pair of orthotics from shoe to shoe. However, everyone’s needs are different and one pair may be quite sufficient.
As those with podiatry extras benefits with their private health funds usually get a rebate on orthotics every year based on their level of cover, many choose to take advantage of this to create second pairs for their sandals, sports shoes, work shoes, or other shoes with a different fit like narrow soccer boots or ski boots
If you have orthotics and find them extremely beneficial, it is important to look after them. It all begins by having regular 12-monthly orthotic reviews. If you have children with orthotics, it’s even more important to make and keep these appointments when they fall due.
To make your 12-month orthotic review appointment, book an appointment today or call your local My FootDr podiatry centre.