Orthotic types

There are many kinds of orthotic. Each is designed to address a specific problem. Some common ones are:

Cushioned heel

This cushion is a wedge of compressible rubber that is inserted into the heel to absorb impact during the heel strike. The cushion is also used to reduce unnecessary knee movement by allowing more rapid ankle plantar flexion (when in motion, this is the point when the heel is off the ground and you are moving forward).

Heel wedges

Depending on their design, these are used to promote inversion (turning inward) or eversion (turning outward), and prevent the hind foot (the ankle region) from sliding down the incline created by the wedge.

Heel flares

These are used to resist inversion or eversion and to provide stability.

Heel elevation

This is a shoe lift to help those who have conditions or deformities that leave one leg shorter than the other by more than a quarter of an inch.

Metatarsal bars

These bars have a flat surface placed behind the metatarsal head, and are used to relieve pressure from the metatarsal heads.

Sole wedges

These medial wedges are used to promote supination or pronation, based on their medial or lateral design.

Rocket bar

When patients have problems such as ulcers, this device can be used to shift the rollover point from the metatarsal head to the metatarsal shaft in order to avoid discomfort. This orthotic is evenly curved and lies behind the metatarsal head.

Steel bar

This orthotic is placed between the inner and outer sole, and is used to reduce forefoot motion when the metatarsals and phalanges are under stress

Sole flare

These promote stability and can be used to resist either inversion or eversion, depending on their design.

Metatarsal pads

These pads are used to redistribute pressure and stress from the metatarsal heads to the shafts in cases of Metatarsalgia.

Inner sole excavation

This is a soft pad filled with compressible materials. It can be placed under one or more of the metatarsal heads, thereby reducing pressure.

Toe crests

Crescent-shaped pads that are placed behind the second, third, and fourth phalanges to reduce stress and fill the void under the proximal (closer to the body or metatarsals) phalanges.