Biomechanical corrections applied to the foot orthotic do not provide favorable results when tested in a computerized foot gait lab. New technology has given us the ability to analyze with great detail the positions of the foot when both static and dynamic forces are applied to the foot. To obtain consistent effective outcomes from any orthotic products, we must take a new approach in basic orthotic design. Through 10 years of research and 10,000 successful patient outcomes we have conclusive evidence that will improve your foot orthotic results.
Harrisburg Foot & Ankle is unique in podiatry and orthotic solutions. They work with a full physical therapy department that coincides with their podiatry practice. To obtain objective data in the use of an orthotic on the foot, the patient completes a comprehensive foot gait analysis which includes video analysis, in-shoe sensors and computer analysis. A patient is often prescribed physical therapy to correct dysfunctional patterns in their gait and increase the stability of their ankles, foot, knees and hips. Therapists work to correct alignment, re-train gait and help a patient walk and/or run more efficiently. This combination of therapy and foot gait analysis provides an abundance of objective data that can be used in two ways: first, it validates the medical necessity of an orthotic to insurance companies. Second, it confirms the effectiveness of a patient’s orthotic in leading to the highest patient recovery.
One of the most effective tools in a gait lab is the in-shoe foot pressure mapping sensor system. This is placed between the foot and the orthotic to gather data for computer analysis. There are several orthotic pressure mapping scanners on the market, Harrisburg Foot & Ankle uses the F-Scan system. This is an effective tool that delivers a wealth of data related to foot dynamics and foot gait. It is vital to have a correct interpretation of that data about the foot which allows us to use the information to the advantage of the patient.
In the Harrisburg gait lab, both prefabricated and custom manufactured orthotics from many labs have been extensively tested. Traditional biomechanical corrections built into an orthotic are not effective once the foot starts to move in a functional capacity.
It is important to understand what the orthotic should accomplish during the gait cycle. Orthotic therapy should be to help the patient with a central heel strike, neutral positioning during mid stance, and then moving to a solid toe off during the propulsion phase of gait.
Typically, a patient will strike their heel with an inverted foot/ankle, which increases the pressures on the lateral aspect at mid stance. This also makes it more difficult to complete toe-off through the 1st MTPJ and Hallux.
Neither scan shows a powerful toe off in the propulsion phase of gait. This lack of pressure in the toe-off phase correlates with other problematic compensatory patterns. For example, a patient may externally rotate the feet or hips in order to keep moving forward. This external rotation can be the source of foot pain, knee, hip and back pain.