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 23 May 2009
Reconceptualising Foot Orthotic Prescribing

I am so over the debate that goes on between things like: 


At the end of the day, they all just different foot orthotic prescription variables or foot orthotic design parameters. I try not to make a distinction between any of them; I try to have no preconceived ideas; I try to be guided by what little evidence is available on them.


Prescribing foot orthotics is all about, making a clinical decision as to what prescription variables are needed for each patient without any preconceived ideas as to what foot orthotic you are going to use. After the decision has been made as to what prescription variables are needed, then and only then should the decision be made as to which is the best foot orthotic design and design parameters are the best way to provide those prescription variables. Sometimes a simple off-the-shelf prefabricated device can meet all the prescription variables needed; other times a custom made device with the foot casted in a particular way is the only way to achieve the prescription variables needed.

A message to all those who still want to argue about things like:

  • custom made foot orthotics vs prefabricated foot orthotics
  • rigid vs soft vs flexible foot orthotics

Move on; get over it.

29 July 2009: Added:

This conceptual process was discussed here: Foot orthoses: how much customisation is necessary? and let to the Foot Orthotic Consensus Project

Craig Payne


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