Signs Orthotics Need Refurbishing
Custom orthotics have many advantages when it comes to conservative treatment options, including the fact they are built to last. Unlike cheap, off-the-shelf shoe inserts—which often start to break down after only a couple of months—the durable custom devices we prescribe can provide support and cushioning for years.
Now, while custom orthotics are extremely durable and well-constructed, they aren’t indestructible. Further, you need to provide proper maintenance and care to extend their lifespan – just as you would with any tool, equipment, or physical object. After all, you have to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles and tune up your bike in the spring!
In the same spirit, you need to refurbish or adjust your orthotics periodically to keep them working at their peak effectiveness.
Specifically, there are a couple of key reasons orthotics should be refurbished periodically:
- Materials wear down (or can even break) when used for extended periods. This tends to be more of an issue for accommodative orthotics, which are constructed from softer materials. In these cases, the orthotics might need to be refurbished after one or two years. Functional orthotics made out of plastics, graphite, or other harder materials tend to hold up longer.
- Feet naturally change shape over time. Our bodies are continually changing in different ways, including the shape of your feet. This means the perfect fit you were excited to have after first receiving your orthotics might not be quite as perfect after a year or two of use. The good news is that doesn’t necessarily mean you need brand new orthotics. Rather, we may simply need to make a few minor adjustments to make sure they’re as effective as possible for you.
Your choice in activities and how you use your orthotics makes a difference in when it’s time to refurbish your customized inserts. For example, if you play a lot of high-impact sports (ones featuring jumping, sprinting, and/or lots of running) or are carrying extra weight – the odds are decent your orthotics will break down faster.
(That is just like how you’ll quickly burn through tires if you’re constantly drag-racing or hauling heavy loads with your car!)
Some specific signs it’s time to have your orthotics adjusted or refurbished include:
- Symptoms are returning and you’re having foot pain again
- Any components of your orthotics are cracked or have obvious indications of wear
- There are uneven wear patterns in the soles of the shoes you typically wear with your orthotics
- You’ve recently lost or gained a lot of weight, have become pregnant, underwent surgery, or experienced any other significant lifestyle changes
We provide durable orthotics, but—as with anything in this world—they can start breaking down at some point. If any of the above apply to you, contact Wisconsin Foot Center and request an appointment.
If your orthotics can be refurbished, adjusted, otherwise fixed, we’ll be happy to do so for you! Fill out our online form or give us a call today at (414) 425-8400 for more information.
"Feel Good Feet: A User's Guide to Foot & Ankle Health"