July 3, 2018

How often should I get my child Orthotics checked and replaced?

A treatment method commonly used by the team at the Undefeeted podiatry is insoles, semi-custom orthotics or custom moulded orthotics. Orthotics are used to treat a wide variety of conditions but can also be used to improve postural alignment of the hips, knees, ankles and feet.

Insoles can usually be prescribed on the day of the consultation as they are kept in stock at the studio and offer a more “generic” degree of arch support or correction. Although these may seem like a financially pleasing option, it is well worth mentioning that the general life expectancy of an insole is somewhere between 12 - 18 months (due to material the insoles are made out of).

Custom Foot Orthotics is the preferred method of support for young champions who attend the studio. We have made them an extremely competitive price point to make sure we can deliver as many pairs of custom orthoses as possible to the local community.

Custom Orthoses require the Podiatrist to take a 3D scan of the foot, at which time they will be able to show you your unique scan. They then use 3D imaging along with the video gait analysis to formulate a prescription for a pair of orthotics that are unique to each individual’s need. No two pairs will ever be the same! The expected life expectancy of custom orthoses is 5 - 8 years dependent on the activity level.

Weather your child is prescribed off the shelf insoles, semi-custom orthotic or custom foot orthotics, we recommend a visit to the studio every six months at a minimum. If your six monthly review does not fall at the start of school year, we stress you make an additional appointment in January or February to have the insoles or orthotics fitted to the new school shoes.

You may wonder as to why you need to visit every 6 months or so, even if your child is not complaining of leg / ankle or foot pain.  We have put a few pointers together to help you understand:

  1. As your child’s foot grows the support of the orthotic may not be sitting under the same bones it was initially prescribed by the Podiatrist to sit under. Some children stop wearing their insoles or orthotics at this point in time as they become uncomfortable. Others may begin to limp due to the discomfort or even develop a blister in the arch area of the foot.
  2. With each change of sessions your child may change their extra curricular activities ie cricket may now be over but the football session may be starting. It is vital you bring the new shoes in along with the insoles or orthotics to make sure the fit is still correct. The insoles or orthotics may be resting on the sides of the shoe upper rather than sitting nicely in the base of the shoe. This could cause discomfort, squeaking or slipping.
  3. With a change in sessions also comes a change in “sometimes shoes”, as well as sock thickness. When you bring your child in for their six monthly review please ensure you bring their “sometimes shoes’ and new socks with them also.
  4. Your child may be prescribed a stretching or strengthening program by their Podiatrist when they are issued insoles or orthotics. It is vital this is re-assessed every six months as your child may have “graduated” from their old program and needs to start a new program.
  5. It’s back to school time which usually means new and bigger shoes. This often results in the top cover of your child’s devices will now be size too small. If you leave your child’s orthotics with us at the studio we can usually get them back out to you within two weeks to fit the new school shoes for a small fee.
  6. As your child’s foot grows, their height and weight does also. It is therefore vital the Podiatrist checks the amount force being placed on the devices. Your Podiatrist will check the shell for signs of stress and strain.

So, if your child was issued insoles, semi-custom or fully custom orthotics by the team at Undefeeted Podiatry or another Podiatrist, please feel free to bring them in for a check up.