Foot Care & Orthotics

You ask a lot of your feet and ankles every day. You tend to take them for granted, until something goes wrong. The expert foot doctors at Ankle & Foot Specialists of St. Louis know that foot and ankle pain isn’t something you want to live with.

After a thorough evaluation, we first look to treat your condition conservatively, recommending medication, physical therapy, custom-molded orthotics, or prefabricated inserts for relief. If surgery does become necessary, you can trust in the experienced hands of our podiatric surgeons.

In addition, many of our patients have diabetes, and we are highly trained and experienced in caring for the special needs of diabetic feet.

Conditions we treat include:

Orthotics

Orthotics are customized shoe inserts that can balance many foot deformities and correct misalignments. We also specialize in custom diabetic shoes that are made specifically to address the foot issues faced by patients with diabetes.

Sometimes called arch supports, orthotics allow people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and comfortably. More often than not, they can also help you avoid surgery. While over-the-counter orthotics are available and may help people with mild symptoms, they normally cannot 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.

To create your custom orthotic, one of our doctors will take a plaster impression of your feet and forward it to an independent lab for fabrication. The orthotic device is made to the exact specifications of your foot. Once returned from the lab, you will wear your orthotics every day to alleviate pain associated with your heels, arches, flat feet, ankles, and lower back.

Orthotic devices come in many shapes, sizes, and materials and fall into three main categories: those designed to change foot function, those that are primarily protective in nature, and those that combine functional control and protection.

Rigid Orthotics

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. Rigid orthotics are made from a mold after a podiatrist takes a plaster cast or other kind of image of the foot. Rigid orthotics control motion in the two major foot joints that lie directly below the ankle joint and may improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.

Soft Orthotics

Soft orthotics are generally used to absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots. 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, extending from the heel past the ball of the foot, including the toes. Like rigid orthotics, soft orthotics are also made from a mold after a podiatrist takes a plaster cast or other kind of image of the foot.

Semi-Rigid Orthotics

Semi-rigid orthotics provide foot balance for walking or participating in sports. The typical semi-rigid orthotic is made up of layers of soft material, reinforced with more rigid materials. Semi-rigid orthotics are often prescribed for children to treat flatfoot and in-toeing or out-toeing disorders. These orthotics are also used to help athletes mitigate pain while they train and compete.

Our podiatrists are experts when it comes to foot and ankle problems, and you deserve the best care possible. Call Ankle & Foot Specialists of St. Louis for an appointment today at (314) 739-8863, or request an appointment online at one of our three convenient locations in Bridgeton, Des Peres or O’Fallon, Missouri.

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