Should Prefabricated Orthoses For Plantar Fasciitis Have A Plantar Fascia Groove?

A colleague recently asked whether prefabricated orthoses for plantar fasciitis require a plantar fascia groove.

A plantar fascia groove is used to decrease pressure on a very prominent plantar fascia. I find this accommodation is rarely needed, even when making a custom orthosis. In fact, there are some inherent problems with using a plantar fascia groove because it can cause the orthosis to gap excessively from the arch of the foot.

My preference is that if a plantar fascia groove is necessary, the clinician should add it after the patient receives the orthosis.

There are rare occasions in which the plantar fascia is so prominent that an intrinsic plantar fascia groove is useful. However, because this is a fairly rare foot type, this is the type of patient who is not likely a good candidate for prefabricated orthoses and should instead receive custom devices.

In summary, a plantar fascia groove should never be necessary on a prefabricated orthosis. Prefabs are designed to fit a majority of patients but not those with unusual features such as a very prominent plantar fascia. Those patients should receive custom orthoses.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published at http://www.prolaborthotics.com/Blog/tabid/90/EntryID/491/Default.aspx and has been adapted with permission from Lawrence Huppin, DPM, and ProLab Orthotics. For more information, visit www.prolaborthotics.com .



Tyson Franklinsays: March 30, 2014 at 4:49 am

I couldn't agree more with Larry Huppin's comments. Fit the orthotic and then decide if a plantar groove is required. The position and angle of the plantar groove are also very important. I like to draw directly along the prominent plantar fascia with an ink marker and then have the patient stand on his or her orthotic. The pen is transferred onto the orthotic, giving you the exact line to follow for the plantar groove grind. You then just need to determine depth.

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