How Are Custom Orthotics Made?

Jul 02, 2023
How Are Custom Orthotics Made?
Did you know custom orthotics are shoe inserts that are made just for your feet and that your provider now has more control over their creation than ever before? Learn more about how these inserts are made.

Do you experience consistent foot and ankle pain that doesn’t go away with rest, even if you’re wearing supportive footwear? You might want to consider custom orthotics. These inserts are specialized to fit your feet, and the design is led by your own care team! 

Southwest Foot & Ankle offers custom orthotics that are made in-house. This allows you to get the best, most customized option possible for your feet. Petrina C. Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, and Mark T. Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, help numerous patients with custom orthotics at our Scottsdale, Arizona, office. 

Custom orthotics 101 

Sometimes people have a misconception that custom orthotics means a whole custom shoe created for your needs. But actually, they’re shoe inserts made to help shift and maintain your alignment. 

There are two kinds of custom orthotics — rigid and accommodative — that serve different functions. Those who suffer from diabetic ulcers, sores, and other similar issues can benefit from accommodative orthotics. Those who need corrections to their gait and experience considerable pain when standing or walking can benefit from the rigid variety.

Custom orthotics can last up to three years — and sometimes longer — while helping you move around more comfortably. But how exactly are they created? 

The process of creating custom orthotics 

We create your orthotics in-house because it gives us the best opportunity to customize the product to your exact specifications. It also gives our providers the chance to be hands-on with the creation of the product as well as your use of it. And with the implementation of 3D printing, these inserts have become more customizable and effective than ever before. 

There are several steps involved in our custom orthotic process:

1. Ensuring you’re a good candidate

The first step is making sure you’re a good candidate for custom orthotics. This will entail an appointment with our providers to discuss your needs and issues. They may want to examine your feet as well as how you walk, stand, and move about before making a final decision. 

2. Taking digital scans

Once it’s been determined that you’re a good candidate, we take many images of your feet. This allows us to have as much data as possible to use in customizing your inserts. The digital scans are uploaded to a computer with a program that helps us design your orthotics. 

3. Creating your inserts

With your digital images, the computer can create an orthotic especially for your foot (and one for your other foot too!). Our providers then view the program and make sure it looks right. If it does, we move on to the next step.

4. Printing your orthotics

We use a 3D printer to create your inserts. Once they’re ready, we ask you to try them out. Your provider watches you stand and move around in your inserts to make sure they’re working properly and to see how they feel to you. If no adjustments are needed, you’re all set!

Find out if custom orthotics are right for you

These days, creating custom orthotics is a streamlined process that allows you and your provider to stay at the center of things. You’ll be able to ensure that they’ll work for you before ever leaving our office!

To make an appointment, call Southwest Foot & Ankle at 480-900-7399 today or schedule online at your convenience.