Our hope at Texas Foot and Ankle Center is always that your foot or ankle injury or condition will be effectively resolved without needing surgery—and the odds are pretty good you hope that too!
(Of course, a bigger hope is that you don’t have a problem in the first place, right?)
Now, whether or not we will be able to avoid surgery depends on a variety of factors. That probably makes a lot of sense because there are a wide range of possible foot and ankle injuries and conditions people can (and do) need to be treated.
On top of that, everyone’s feet are unique.
Sure, most people have ten total toes, two feet, and two ankles—but these lower appendages feature more than one-quarter of the bones in your entire body, along with over a hundred different soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) to connect and move them.
With so many small pieces, there’s bound to be a certain degree of variance in every foot.
Put all of this together and it means this:
Not every solution is going to work for every foot or ankle problem.
Well, a particularly versatile treatment that can work for a variety of problems—one that can work quite well with your unique feet—is a pair of custom orthotics.
What are orthotics?
Put simply, these are shoe inserts prescribed by a podiatrist—like the doctors on our staff here at Texas Foot and Ankle Center!—and used to treat (or possibly prevent) a medical condition.
That means they aren’t the same as the shoe inserts you can buy off the shelf at the store!
Whereas those mass-produced inserts might be able to offer additional cushioning or a little extra arch support, they are not intended to be a treatment option.
It comes down to the uniqueness of your feet. After all, how can a manufacturing plant overseas make a device that works with your feet—without carefully determining exactly how much correction you need? (They can’t.)
With a pair of custom orthotics, one of our doctors will examine your foot structure and gait pattern (basically, this is how your feet and legs move when you walk).
Based on the findings of the examination, you will be prescribed with a pair of orthotics that can put your feet in a better position or improve their motion so it’s more natural. These improvements can help redistribute pressure and force loads—which means that areas not intended to handle too much are no longer being overworked.
If this is the treatment option we prescribe, your orthotics might be accommodative and/or functional in nature. In this regard, accommodative means the devices are more focused on providing comfort for structural issues, whereas functional orthotics are geared more toward how the foot moves.
With regards to foot motion, a very common problem we treat with orthotics is pronation abnormality.
So, What’s Pronation?
To put it simply, this is the natural, inward-rolling motion a foot goes through during the ground portion of a step.
And because it’s quite natural, you probably don’t even realize you do this—unless you have pronation issues.
Give or take, pronation should be about fifteen degrees. If the foot rolls more than that, we call it overpronation. When it rolls less, we call it supination (or perhaps under-pronation).
Overpronation is a problem because excessive pressure is applied to the front, inside edge of the foot. As you might imagine, this means the issue with supination is too much force on the outer edge.
Respectively, these two pronation patterns can cause a variety of issues.
But when we prescribe a pair of custom orthotics, the devices can control the motion and help distribute force loads more equitably across the feet.
Get the foot care you need—from a medical team who cares about you!
Orthotics are versatile and can be incredibly effective at resolving foot and ankle issues. Whether or not this will be part of our customized treatment plan for you will depend on various factors.
Essentially, there is a chance this simply might not be something you need.
If it is, though, our team at Texas Foot and Ankle Center will take the appropriate measures to make sure you have a pair of orthotics that work for you!
Remember, the inserts you can pick up at the store are not the same as your own custom, prescribed orthotics. Off the shelf products are not intended to treat medical conditions—and trying this can potentially make a problem worse!
Instead, please feel free to contact our Dallas office and request an appointment. When you do, you will have the full attention of a doctor who is trained and experienced in helping patients just like you overcome foot and ankle pain.
Ready to put your pain in the past? Reach us today by calling (214) 660-0777.
Doctor's Professional Building 1
1151 N. Buckner Boulevard, Suite 201
Dallas, TX 75218
Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 5:00PM
Closed for Lunch
12:00PM - 1:00PM
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