Performance Podiatry

Orthoses and 3D Laser Scanning

Orthoses & 3D Laser Scanning

What are foot orthotics?

Foot orthotics are inserted inside shoes to support or improve the function of your feet and lower limbs. The orthotics provide pain relief by improving the abnormalities in your biomechanics and foot posture.
Orthotics can provide relief for acute and chronic pain in your feet and lower limb. Some common conditions include tendinopathies, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis and mortons neuromas. Orthotics can also assist with long term relief of corns or calluses by evening the surface area of your feet to reduce high pressure areas.

What type of foot orthotics are there?

There are 2 main types of foot orthotics. Prefabricated (“off the shelf” orthotics) or custom made orthotics. The type of orthotic issued to patients is decided on your individual symptoms, biomechanics/foot type and other factors such as your age, weight and activity levels.

How are custom orthotics made?

Custom made orthotics are specifically designed for your feet to treat your specific problem. At Performance Podiatry we use a 3D laser scan to get an accurate impression of your feet. This scan along with the orthotic lab script written by your podiatrist will be sent to Footworks orthotic laboratory. Traditionally orthotics are made manually using plaster to design the shape needed to mould your orthotics. Footworks uses the latest CAD/CAM technology to give you a precise manufactured fit.

3D Laser Scan Imaging

Plaster casts vs 3D Laser Scanning

In the past podiatrists have taken plaster casts or use foam boxes to take an impression of a patients feet when prescribing custom made orthotics. Whilst this has been a generally good method, it does have its flaws; it’s messy, time consuming and there is minor human error when taken the plaster casts. At Performance Podiatry, we believe ‘close enough is not good enough’ which has lead us to invest in the new Delcam Laser scanner. Laser scanning takes an impression of the foot in around 4 seconds, to an accuracy of less than 2 hair widths. This 3D image is then sent to our orthotic laboratory with a detailed orthotic prescription by the podiatrist to manufacture a full customised orthotic for the patient.

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