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FAQs

WHAT IS AN ORTHOTIC?
The term "orthotic" is derived from the Greek word "orthos", which means to straighten, right or correct. Orthotics - the history of the industry can be traced back over 40 years - refer to a device that is custom-designed to support the foot; such devices are used in orthotic therapy to relieve foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain or other associated lower limb dysfunctions.

Custom medical Prothotics are worn within appropriate footwear to aid in improving proper lower limb function. Because they are custom to a patient's needs, the individual-specific design will reduce lower limb pain and discomfort originating from the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back, and a variety of wear-and-tear foot conditions.

How are foot-beds and Prothotics medical orthotics different?
"Regular" foot-beds are designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption. Initially, they may feel comfortable, but in the long term, they don't address the biomechanical cause of foot pain or other ailments. Why is this? Because foot-beds are mass produced to meet set, rather than individual averages.

Custom medical Prothotics, on the other hand, are designed to correct and optimize foot function by placing the foot and ankle bones in proper walking position. In short, Prothotics' medical orthotics do much more than support a person's arches.


WHAT ARE PROTHOTICS MEDICAL ORTHOTICS MADE OF?
True custom orthotics are individually made from a cast impression or crush box made from the feet of the patient. They can be completed in a non-weight bearing, fully weight bearing or seem-weight bearing format pending the choice of the practitioner.

These models are then formed into a computerized, three-dimensional replication of the client's feet. From that, Prothotics produces a custom-designed medical orthotic that is unique to that particular client.

The orthotic device can then be machined from a variety of orthopedic materials, from elastomer blocks of EVA and EFM to orthopedic cork materials. Positive molds of the patient's feet are made, so that thin, rigid and semi-rigid plastics (such as polypropylene of polyethylene) can be used to produce a material rigidity specific to what the practitioner is trying to accomplish on their patient's behalf - for example, a design that takes body weight and specific activities into consideration. 

There could be cases where several different material types and support styles are requested to accomplish a variety of sporting activity, activities of daily living and ADL's.

Once the shape and style of orthotic is chosen, there are various top covering materials to choose from, such as leather, vinyl and nubuck. Accordingly, there are also many different cushioning materials to choose from,  PPT, Poron, and viscoelastic polymers among them. These materials can be applied in different densities to provide adequate shock absorption.

Other modifications can be added from heel/spur pockets, callus/plantar wart pockets, metatarsal pads and bars, and metatarsal bar rises; this list is ever-expanding to address all the conditions that a patient may have.

Prothotics continues to work with material manufacturers, and conducts ongoing research on innovative, space age materials that are constantly coming to the marketplace. We are also working with experts on a global scale in the fields of chemistry in the pursuit of developing custom medical orthotics that will progressively customize as the patient wears them during their day-to-day activities.


HOW LONG WILL MY PROTHOTICS MEDICAL ORTHOTICS LAST?
Under normal circumstances, the Prothotics shell should last between three and five years. Other components such as the posting materials and top covers will wear out at various times, depending on activity level and weight. We suggest returning to your health care provider every six to 12 months to have your orthotics inspected. 

Children and adolescents should have their orthotics replaced every time their footwear is replaced with a larger size - usually when the foot grows one size.


WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM PROTHOTICS AND WHY?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 87% of the world's population suffers from some form of foot pathology that will result in pain at some point in their life - pain that will require specialized care to treat. Thus, most everyone can benefit from wearing custom medical orthotics.

Foot and lower limb pain can affect anyone at any age, regardless of activity level. Anyone suffering from discomfort in their feet, ankles, knees, hips or lower back will benefit from the use of a custom medical Prothotics.

Additionally, those with conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis or autism can benefit greatly from the stability and support provided by Prothotics' custom-made foot-beds.


HOW EFFECTIVE ARE PROTHOTICS MEDICAL DEVICES?
Fortunately, most foot and lower limb conditions respond well to orthotic treatment, although it may take four to eight weeks for the benefits to be seen. Custom medical Prothotics not only alleviate back, knee, shin and other joint pain, but also remedy foot problems such as bunions, calluses and corns, heel pain, achilles tendinitis, and pain in the ball of the foot, to name a few.


WILL THERE BE A BREAK IN PERIOD?
Yes, definitely. Once a patient receives his or her medical orthotics, their feet and legs will need time to adjust to their new position. Medical orthotics are designed to relieve pain and discomfort, but as the body doesn't adapt to change rapidly, they must be gradually introduced over time. 

Still, patients should expect to experience some minor aches in their feet, ankles, legs, hips and lower back. These aches and pains will subside as the orthotics break in, and the body adjusts to the new, healthier position Prothotics' custom medical orthotics put a client's body into into proper medical alignment, reducing painful stress on the muscles and bones of the lower limb. Please refer to the user guide for more information.


WILL PROTHOTICS ORTHOTIC FOOT-BEDS FIT IN ALL MY FOOTWEAR?
Prothotics can literally produce any type and size of medical orthotic; we can even produce a custom foot-bed to fit into a stiletto high heeled shoe, should it be required! That aside, our main responsibility is to provide solutions to a patient's pain and suffering through the provision of products and services that are specifically designed to improve their quality of life. 

Initially, a patient should be provided with a medical orthotic that provides the stability; this quality alone plays a central role in pain reduction. There are numerous footwear manufacturers using a myriad of materials and lasts (forms used to produce footwear based on general averages of the human population) to make their shoes; this makes every shoe different. Thus, because Prothotics medical orthotics are designed to achieve a specific purpose, they should be worn in a specific pair of shoes or athletic footwear to achieve optimal results.

Therefore, Prothotics custom foot-beds should not be worn in several different pairs of shoes. Use the shoes or athletic footwear that have been specifically chosen to fit your Prothotics orthotic foot-beds.

As a patient's pain diminishes, Prothotics can help in providing additional custom devices that will accommodate dress shoes, sandals and other popular forms of footwear. Remember, the primary goal here is to reduce pain. A patient's fashion needs can be addressed afterward, when they're feeling better!


ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
If the above FAQ section doesn't answer your questions, please contact us with any other queries you might have. We will do our best to answer your questions as promptly as possible!