Question:Have you ever heard of a pedorthist? My orthopedic surgeon recommended I see one in our town for new shoes. What do they do?
Answer:A pedorthist specializes in footwear. This can include the shoes themselves but is usually much broader than that. Anything used on the foot to solve a foot problem comes under the jurisdiction of a pedorthist. This can include boots, slippers, sandals, socks, hosiery, night splints, bandages, and braces.
Another commonly prepared shoe insert used by C.Peds is the foot orthosis. These arch supports or shoe inserts can make a big difference in alignment, comfort, and support of the foot and ankle. Even biomechanics of the leg can be affected by the right foot and ankle support.
When choosing a pedorthist, you'll want to see a certified pedorthist or C.Ped. The C.Ped will select, make and/or modify footwear and orthoses to help you maintain or regain as much mobility as possible. Support, stability, cushion, and protection of the foot are needed by many patients in order to maintain or improve walking.
When ability to walk is affected, footwear can be a crucial part of the treatment. Sometimes currently available shoes can be modified. In other cases, a mold or model must be taken of the foot and a custom insert is designed. Computer scanning has now made it possible to use 3-D models to create a custom designed supportive device.
The C.Ped has training and expertise in all of these areas. He or she will work with you for as long as it takes to get the right fit and best support possible.Dennis J. Janisse, CPed, and Erick Jannise, CPed, CO. Shoe Modification and the Use of Orthoses in the Treatment of Foot and Ankle Pathology. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. March 2008. Vol. 16. No. 3. Pp. 152-158.
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