Will my orthotics from a Pedorthist be eligible for reimbursement?
Our products and services are eligible for reimbursement through health benefit plans (not OHIP). In most cases, you will require:
From your Physician:
- A written prescription from a physician including a medical diagnosis. We are happy to assess you in advance and send a report and referral request to your physician.
From your Pedorthist:
- A copy of our biomechanical examination/gait analysis
- A copy of our lab form which includes casting technique, materials, and fabrication process
- A receipt showing payment and dispensing date
How long should a custom-made orthotic last?
Custom-made foot orthotics can last anywhere from 3-5 years (and sometimes longer), however there are a lot of variables that affect their life span. These include: weight, foot type, lower limb mechanics, demands of activity and work environment, and quality of footwear. Trauma, growth or changes in the foot due to progressive degenerative conditions can require modification or complete replace of custom foot orthotics. Over time, the topcover may become worn or peel back or the base may become compressed and imbalanced. Modifications and rebalancing may restore the custom foot orthotic closer to it’s original state.
How quickly do children outgrow foot orthotics?
Average foot growth in a child is approximately 1 size per year however the custom foot orthotics can generally function effectively for about 2 sizes of growth. In some cases, the orthotics can be refurbished to extend their lifespan and accommodate minor growth, however this depends on the amount of growth and the degree of control needed for the foot. It is important to note that most girls are at their adult foot size at age 13/14 while boys reach theirs at 14/15, however, there are always exceptions.
What is a custom-made shoe?
Extreme deformity, the presence of certain medical conditions or a significant difference in foot size or shape may prevent the use of standard over the counter footwear. Custom made footwear may be necessary in these situations. This footwear is unique to the individual and made from scratch from raw materials on a “last” (an accurate 3 dimensional model of the foot and ankle) unique to the individual. In order for your foot and footwear to qualify as custom-made under most insurance policies, it is necessary that the foot shape and/or medical condition cannot be accommodated by existing products (either off the shelf or modified off the shelf footwear) and the footwear must be truly custom made. When indicated, it is best to see a custom shoe maker or a master craftsman who have expertise in making these products.
How do I know when it’s time to replace my shoes?
There are a number of ways to identify when it is time to replace your shoes:
- Evaluate the wear of the sole on the bottom of the shoe. It’s normal for the outside of the heel to be worn with an ‘S’ shaped pattern towards the big toe. If the sole is worn through on the heel or the ball of the foot for example it may be time to replace.
- If you set the shoe on a flat surface and apply pressure, does the shoe rock side to side or back or out? Does it tilt to the inside or outside? If so, it may be time to replace.
- Evaluate the midsole (platform) of the shoe (the material between the ‘upper’ or fabric part and the outsole – the bottom). Are there crease lines along the midsole? Are they even on both the inside and outside of the midsole or does one side have more than the other? Is one side compressed more than the other?
Perform a simple balance test while wearing the shoe. Start by balancing on one foot without shoes on. You can hold on to a wall if needed. Contact with the ground should be felt under the big toe joint, little toe joint and center of the heel. Make a mental note of how easy/difficult this is. Then, put on your shoe, and balance again. It should be easier to balance on the three contact points in the shoe than in barefoot. If it is harder, then it is likely time to replace your footwear. As the footwear should facilitate optimal foot function, you should feel more balanced when wearing it. If not, it is inappropriate or worn out.