Can A New Orthotic Redefine Perceptions About Prefabs?

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By Aaron Becker, Special Projects Editor

While there are plenty of prefabricated orthotics on the market, many of them do not provide the levels of comfort and pain relief that most custom orthotics can offer. Alternatively, patients often deem custom orthotics to be too expensive, forcing them to settle for more affordable albeit less effective prefabricated devices that provide only moderate pain relief.    Stable Step has taken strides toward filling this void in recent years by providing well-received prefab orthotics with the Powerstep ProTech line. Continuing to build upon its reputation, the company offers a new prefabricated orthotic option with the Powerstep ProTech Classic.    The orthotic features a thin, full-length profile that facilitates fit with many shoes, according to Stable Step. Donald Garfield, DPM, has found this to be the case in his Birmingham, Mich.-based private practice.

Assessing The Key Benefits

“The benefit of (the ProTech Classic) seems to be a lower or thinner profile for better shoe fit,” acknowledges Dr. Garfield. “(It) seems to fit well in shoes that do not have completely removable innersoles or shoes that were not meant to accommodate orthotics.”    After thoroughly evaluating prefab orthotics over the years, Dr. Garfield uses the Powerstep prefab products exclusively in his practice. He notes the flexibility of the products is beneficial in treating plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Dr. Garfield says the Powerstep product line provides “a helpful and useful first-line tool.”    Designed by a podiatrist, the ProTech Classic is distributed exclusively by medical professionals. The company adds that the ProTech Classic is softer than its PowerStep Original predecessor and provides enhanced heel and arch pain relief.    Dr. Garfield says he often uses the Powerstep ProTech Classic as a temporary orthotic while a custom orthotic is being produced. He notes it is also effective as an alternative to tapings and strappings, which require more frequent patient visits.

Praising A Cost-Effective And Durable Device

The affordability of the ProTech Classic also factors into patient satisfaction with the product, according to Dr. Garfield, who cites the cost-effectiveness of the device.    “(I believe) they are much more cost-effective than the type of prefabs that are sold at the local ‘arch support and good feet stores’ or those sold on the television commercials for hundreds of dollars,” points out Dr. Garfield. “They certainly (provide) a much higher quality at a fraction of the cost.”    Dr. Garfield also cites the durability of the Powerstep ProTech product line.    “They seem to last for a long time,” adds Dr. Garfield. “We have not had any wear out and have dispensed hundreds of them for over 18 months.”    In his experience, Dr. Garfield says patients often perceive a higher value with custom orthotics due to their higher cost and tend to be more compliant with these devices than with prefab orthotics. However, he notes that the patient experience he has seen with the ProTech Classic has started to alter that way of thinking.

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