Current Insights On Custom And Prefabricated Foot Orthoses

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Guest Clinical Editor: Scott Spencer, DPM

“I have seen incredible positive effects to patient function, not just foot function but overall gait function of the body, when timing and distribution are balanced,” says Dr. Spencer. He cites the example of a patient with drastically asymmetric arm swing that was corrected by influencing the pressure distribution and the timing of pressure distribution, which created more symmetry in foot function.

Dr. Volpe foresees continued production upgrades at laboratories, including material advancements that will enable DPMs to prescribe thinner, more versatile devices for numerous clinical circumstances and shoe gear requirements. Over time, he feels techniques for casting, fabrication and device design should continue to improve.

Dr. Volpe says he would like to see an increased emphasis on orthoses prescribed for children to help reduce chronic problems that may emerge when they become adults. He notes additional outcomes studies are needed to verify the positive effects of CFOs, particularly in the pediatric population.

“It is hoped that health insurance reimbursement for this critical therapeutic modality will continue to improve so more and more patients who might benefit from CFO therapy will be able to avail themselves of it without financial obstacles,” says Dr. Volpe. “The aforementioned outcome studies should help with this cause and would also contribute to wider acknowledgement of the benefits of this therapy across the medical community.”

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