Custom Orthotics in Milwaukee
Prescription orthotics from foot & ankle specialists
Our foot specialists will recommend the right type of custom orthotics for your unique feet.
What are orthotics?
An orthotic is a device that is inserted into a shoe, ranging from felt pads to custom-made inserts that correct an abnormal or irregular, walking pattern. Serving as an arch support, orthotics allow people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and comfortably. Orthotics serve as a solution to many foot and ankle problems, including preventing or relieving foot and heel pain during pregnancy.
Over-the-counter orthotics are available and can help people with mild symptoms of heel pain or ankle pain, but may not correct the wide range of symptoms that prescription foot orthoses can since they are not custom made to fit an individual's unique foot structure. A custom fit orthotic is highly recommended.
Learn more about orthotics and contact Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin for an appointment today:
- What are orthotics used for?
- Are custom orthotics covered by insurance?
- How much do custom orthotics cost from a podiatrist?
- How long does it take orthotics to work?
- Prescription orthotics vs retail
Types of Orthotics
There are three main categories of orthotic devices based on purpose:
- Rigid orthotics change foot function
- Accomodative orthotics are protective & preventative
- Semi-rigid orthotics offer a combination of control & protection
Rigid orthotic devices are designed to control function and are used primarily for walking or dress shoes. They are often composed of a firm material, such as plastic or carbon fiber and are made from a mold. Rigid orthotics control motion in the major foot joints and may improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the arches, legs, thighs, hips and lower back. Rigid orthotics are also recommended for arthritis pain in the big toe joint (hallux rigidus) or people with functional hallux limitus.
Using the wrong type of orthotics or avoiding medical treatment can make your foot pain worse.
Accomodative orthotics are generally used to absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots (which can help prevent pressure ulcers). They are usually effective for diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet. Soft orthotics are typically made up of soft, cushioned materials so that they can be worn against the sole of the foot. Soft orthotics are made from a mold.
Semi-rigid orthotics provides foot balance for walking or participating in sports. The comfort and stability allow for them to be used for more rigorous activity. They are made up of layers of soft material, reinforced with more rigid materials. Semi-rigid orthotics are used to treat flatfoot and in-toeing or out-toeing disorders as well as helping athletes mitigate pain (for example from bone spurs) while they train.
What are orthotics used for?
Orthotics have many benefits, can be used to treat many different foot and ankle issues, and are custom designed based on your individual physiology, symptoms and lifestyle.
Our podiatrists will perform a thorough evaluation of your feet and ankles and take the time to answer your questions about symptoms and the best course of treatment.
Custom orthotic devices may be recommended to:
- Correct abnormalities such as flat feet, high arches, low arches, bunions (hallux valgus), hammertoes, supination or pronation
- Treat injuries or conditions including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, corns, shin splints, heel spurs, turf toe, hallux rigidus, foot drop (aka drop foot), chronic pain, stress fractures, foot ulcers or calluses and blisters
- Treat and prevent chronic pain in the feet, knees, hips and back caused by prolonged walking and standing
- Enhance performance and prevent injury for runners, golfers, tennis players and other athletes
It’s important to have your orthotics custom fit by a podiatrist for effective and comfortable support compatible with the footwear you need to wear them with, including:
- Work boots
- Dress shoes
- Dance shoes
- Soccer cleats, running shoes and other sport footwear
- Sneakers and casual flats
Our podiatrists are experts in foot biomechanics who will determine the best course of treatment for your pain.
The experienced foot and ankle specialists at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin prescribe custom orthotics for patients from all walks of life including the elderly, diabetics, people who work on their feet, overweight individuals, teenagers and even children. If you think you may need orthotics, schedule an evaluation at one of our five podiatry clinics in the Milwaukee area today. Back to top
Are custom orthotics covered by insurance?
Whether or not orthotics from a podiatrist are covered by health insurance depends on your provider and plan and the reason for prescribing orthotics. There may also be a co-pay depending on the type of coverage.
Typically most health insurance plans do not cover custom orthotics, though it is worth checking. Our podiatrists accept many different insurance plans and we’re happy to do an insurance check for you and explain your benefits. We also offer affordable payment plans for out-of-pocket expenses through Parasail.
How much do custom orthotics cost from a podiatrist?
Because they are custom molded and produced for each individual, the price varies for each pair. If our podiatrists determine custom orthotics should be part of your treatment plan, we’ll discuss the cost with you and address any concerns during your appointment.
Are custom orthotics worth it?
Prescription orthotics do cost more than off-the-shelf inserts, and for good reason. Custom orthotics from a foot doctor perform better, last longer and provide more effective pain relief than generic orthotics.
How long does it take for orthotics to work?
The exact amount of time varies because no two individuals have the same feet or severity of condition.
In general it takes a couple of weeks to adjust to wearing custom orthotics full-time as your feet will need to get used to functioning in a new way. It could take longer for runners or athletes to be able to use them completely comfortably.
There could also be some initial soreness or pain because of the change. Consult your foot doctor if the initial pain is significant or does not subside.
Prescription orthotics vs retail
Prescription foot orthoses are custom made to treat a wide range of symptoms.
Just like generic reading glasses might help for minor vision problems, generic orthotics might provide some relief for minor foot discomfort. In some cases, generic inserts and/or foot taping can provide relief.
But when you need significant vision correction or relief from severe or persistent foot pain, consulting a physician is a much better decision for your current problem and your overall health.
A chiropractor, physical therapist or even the sales rep working at a “foot store” probably has some knowledge of cushioned and supportive insoles, and likely a true desire to treat your foot, knee or back pain by recommending products to the best of their ability.
On the other hand, a podiatrist is a full medical doctor specializing in foot and ankle problems, and uniquely qualified to diagnose the true cause of foot pain and recommend the most effective treatment plan—which may include prescription orthotics.
The surgical podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin are highly experienced in assessing and treating all types of foot and ankle pain, whether caused by poor footwear, injury, disease or a combination of factors.
The biomechanics of feet, ankles, knees and hips are incredibly complex, and everyone’s feet, gait and support needs are unique.
A foot scanning or pressure-measuring machine at the mall or in a drugstore is no substitute for a careful, professional evaluation of your feet by an experienced physician. Don’t risk making your pain worse (or triggering new problems) by trusting the health of your feet to a retailer.
Prevention is Everything—Ignoring Pain Means Making It Worse
Failing to address pain in your heel or ankle means compensating in the way you walk and increasing the chance of serious foot/ankle injuries or passing the pain somewhere else, like your toes. Take it seriously. Get it checked out. Trust in the experienced professionals at Advanced Foot and Ankle of Wisconsin to provide custom fit orthotics to relieve arch, foot and ankle pain and get you back on your feet.