History of Orthotics

After a trip to the podiatrist’s office, you can sometimes be overwhelmed. There are a lot of different words and medical terms that can be used when treating the foot and the ankle. These terms work great for the podiatrists who use them, but, for the average person, they do not make a whole lot of sense. One type of treatment that is widely used by podiatrists is orthotics. Orthotics is a broad term that has many other medical terms layered with it. Here is an overview of some of the basics of orthotics and what they mean.

In the twentieth century, the word brace started to phase out in the world of podiatry and the word orthosis was used in its place. The word "orthosis" stems from the Greek meaning “straight.” An orthosis is the same thing as an orthotic. They are meant to help keep the foot straight and stable so that an injury is not aggravated further. They also heal and prevent pain.

There are four main types of orthotics devices, two of which can be used by patients who have weakness due to certain medical conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.

Those who suffer from ALS can use orthotics to help stabilize them and also to support their joints. Orthotics allow them as well to compensate for loss of movement and to assist in movement. These devices can help patients who previously were not able to get mobile, move and walk again. They allow them to have a better quality of life and day to day experience.

Orthotics are named after the joints that they help and encompass. They are made out of metal, plastic or a combination of the two. The metal never touches the skin and attaches to the outside of a shoe. It is usually easy to take care of and can last a patient multiple years.

Orthotics are wonderful devices that can help those needing assistance greatly. Have a condition that you think an orthotic might help? Have questions for a podiatrist? Call us at Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia, can help. There Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his highly trained team can help decide whether or not an orthotic device is right for you. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today. An orthotic can change your way of life completely.