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Orthotics?
Old 06-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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Orthotics?

My feet are killing me. Also, have a bad left knee that is probably ready for a replacement. I already had the right knee replaced. Just hate to go through more surgery. I can play golf but I have a hard time walking. I never walk through malls and in grocery stores I take a store owned power scooter if one is available. A friend of mine used orthotics in his shoes. Said he couldn't walk without them. We have a place in town that specializes in orthotics called "The Good Feet Store". I'm seriously considering that. Anyone have experience with orthotics? Good success?
Waste of money? What?
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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My feet are killing me. Also, have a bad left knee that is probably ready for a replacement. I already had the right knee replaced. Just hate to go through more surgery. I can play golf but I have a hard time walking. I never walk through malls and in grocery stores I take a store owned power scooter if one is available. A friend of mine used orthotics in his shoes. Said he couldn't walk without them. We have a place in town that specializes in orthotics called "The Good Feet Store". I'm seriously considering that. Anyone have experience with orthotics? Good success?
Waste of money? What?
They can work miracles, or they can be worthless, depending on what is causing the pain. I think they are worth a try, if you can afford them.

I had a really bad case of Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in 2001, due to riding my exercycle at the top tension as hard as I could, barefoot. (Not smart, but I was watching planes flying into buildings that week while I rode so I was a little keyed up, to put it mildly). Anyway, custom orthotics were terrific at that time. I no longer need them.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:28 PM   #3
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If I remember correctly you have a few health problems . So before you go the orthotics route I think you should have a check up to make sure this is not something else. In the meantime if you want an easy fix try Dr. Scholl's over the counter orthotics available at most drug stores.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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My feet are killing me. Also, have a bad left knee that is probably ready for a replacement.
You might want to price a custom orthopedic knee brace that unloads those meniscii. Lightweight carbon fiber and a custom fitting sesson-- magic.

If you're going to spend that kind of cash to defer the surgery, then it's also worth having an orthopedic surgeon send you to a physical therapist to start doing the rehab you'd be doing if your knee was being replaced. (It might be different therapy from your right knee.) The rehab therapy is supposed to strengthen the quad/hamstring muscles to help your ligaments & tendons stabilize the knee without grinding the cartilage, so any strength in those muscles can help defer the surgery.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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There's a store near here with a name like "Good Feet Store" not sure if it's exactly that. They sell a bunch of orthotics and will measure you to get the closest match to what you need. But they are not custom made to your foot.

We tried them for my daughter, but she didn't get any relief until she went to a doctor for a full custom orthotic. I suspect some people find relief with the off the shelf variety, but if it doesn't work for you, that doesn't mean a more custom one won't.

The Foot Store also sold all kinds of shoes that are supposed to be good for your feet. We didn't find anything there that worked any better than good quality regular shoes once the custom orthotic was installed. I have a friend who swears their shoes are great. It likely depends on individual feet and preferences.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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A few years ago I developed Plantar Fasciitis. I bought some Dr. Scholls at Walgreens and they really helped. Till this day I still use them and it makes getting around a lot easier. I don't know if you need to spend extra money on a custom set, try the Dr. Scholls first.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:44 PM   #7
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I have worn custom orthotics for about 10 years. Made a world of difference for me -- I was getting to the point that I couldn't walk more than a mile or two without significant pain. I can now walk 5-10 miles. I still wouldn't do any serious hiking.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:58 PM   #8
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I've been using custom made orthotics cast by a podiatrist for over 25 years. Cost now is $280 - $300
. This was due to a weight balance problem after I spent 6 months in a cast and on crutches when I broke my left tibia decades ago. I've tried the cheaper ones over the counter and "as seen on TV", but the non cast ones don't work for me. Even tried a pair my podiatrist made in the office and those weren't much better than the over the counter type. I have noticed I can wear some running/cross training shoes that have a good stable arch without the orthotics, but it takes a few tries to find out it they'll work for me.

I did notice that Costco now sells orthotics as of last week that caught my eye, they look much closer to the ones I use now (left side of page):

Costco.com: In The Warehouse - Orthotics

I would probably give these a shot based on cost and having worn custom orthotics for years.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #9
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I was VERY skeptical about them, but my wife talked me into trying them. Best money I have ever spent. My feet used to be sore all the time from walking the floors of my buildings (concrete slabs) with dress shoes. She said I should try this, and so I went to a podiatrist, and at that time they were not covered by my insurance, so they cost me $500.

I love them.....No, that isn't getting the spirit...I LOVE THEM!!!! Easily the best $500 I ever spent. If your feet feel good, everything above does as well.

I will admit I was wrong about them (even said so to my wife -- which was a tough thing to admit to!). But damn they were awesome for me, and I am man enough to admit that!

I had to replace them about a year ago, and my insurance now covers them, but even if they didn't I would spend the money again for them. Your mileage may vary but for me, I am now a convert.
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Pros and Cons
Old 06-15-2012, 06:25 AM   #10
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Pros and Cons

I'd vote for Physical therapy first. Orthotics can actually cause changes in leg movement, relying on one set of muscles over the correct use of the leg, back and stomach. From DW's experience, it helped initially but has resulted in leg and hip issues because it changed her walking motion (which wasn't detected fro years). IMHO, braces, etc can help temporarily but long term lead to over dependence and puts strain on other parts of the skeletal muscle function resulting in other complications.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:57 AM   #11
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The Good Feet Store sells shoes, oh and they have over the counter orthotics as well. If your feet hurt, you should probably see a podiatrist to assess exactly what is going on and consider a solution in terms of what is happening with your knees.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:51 AM   #12
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The Good Feet stores are generally not staffed by people trained in biomechanic or kinesiology, better to go to a sports podiatrist and get it done right. I have orthotics, and my 10 and 12 year old sons do too. Makes a hug difference for all of us, no foot pain for them, and better fluidity in their movement...........
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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The Good Feet stores are generally not staffed by people trained in biomechanic or kinesiology, better to go to a sports podiatrist and get it done right. I have orthotics, and my 10 and 12 year old sons do too. Makes a hug difference for all of us, no foot pain for them, and better fluidity in their movement...........
I got mine from a pedorthist. Pedorthists require a prescription so you pretty much have to see someone else first, probably a sports podiatrist as you suggest, and it's good to ask around and find out which pedorthist is best in your area and who they work with. Pedorthists spend all day making orthotics so my pedorthist, at least, was very skillful. She observed my walking stride very carefully before and after casting the orthotics, and then adjusted them a couple of times accordingly. She wouldn't quit until she got them right.

I have heard very good things about the Good Feet stores (although I have also heard they are a little pricey for what you get). Personally if I had any further problems requiring orthotics, I'd skip the Good Feet store and go to my pedorthist again because I think she works miracles.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:11 AM   #14
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34 years of experience here, with both prescription and commercial orthotics.

I've tried them all, and have found that it's really all up to the skill of the person you see. I've had two fantastic podiatrists make me custom orthotics that worked like magic to clear up knee problems (mainly chondromalacia ("runner's knee"). I've also had podiatrists give me custom orthotics that weren't worth anything.

Some commercial orthotics can be useful, but I believe that's more good luck than anything.

See a good podiatrist (preferable one who has fairly recent training) or sports orthopedist, and find out exactly what the problem is caused by, and how to fix it. That might be orthotics, but could easily be something else that wouldn't cost any more in the long run. Just as an example, something as simple as a strap around the knee (like the Cho-Pat strap) might fix you up.

Unless you know the problem, you're just spending money on random fixes that may or may not work.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:39 AM   #15
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I'd go to a podiatrist. Not sure if Good Feet is covered by insurance, but my orthotics via my podiatrist cost me the co-pay.

They helped me tremendously!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #16
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My feet are killing me. Also, have a bad left knee that is probably ready for a replacement. I already had the right knee replaced. Just hate to go through more surgery. I can play golf but I have a hard time walking. I never walk through malls and in grocery stores I take a store owned power scooter if one is available. A friend of mine used orthotics in his shoes. Said he couldn't walk without them. We have a place in town that specializes in orthotics called "The Good Feet Store". I'm seriously considering that. Anyone have experience with orthotics? Good success?
Waste of money? What?
Plenty of experienced advice above.

I'd personally start by seeing a GP. If you are overweight that could be a contributing factor. Also do you have the right arch support in your shoes and are they sized right?

I use inserts too for the arch support and have for years. Even use them when I run. Feet are very individual.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #17
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I have worn custom orthotics for about 10 years. Made a world of difference for me -- I was getting to the point that I couldn't walk more than a mile or two without significant pain. I can now walk 5-10 miles. I still wouldn't do any serious hiking.
5 to 10 miles sounds serious to me.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:24 PM   #18
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DW has used an orthotic in her right shoe for at least 20 years, she wouldn't be without...so she's a firm believer.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #19
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34 years of experience here, with both prescription and commercial orthotics.

I've tried them all, and have found that it's really all up to the skill of the person you see. I've had two fantastic podiatrists make me custom orthotics that worked like magic to clear up knee problems (mainly chondromalacia ("runner's knee"). I've also had podiatrists give me custom orthotics that weren't worth anything.

Some commercial orthotics can be useful, but I believe that's more good luck than anything.

See a good podiatrist (preferable one who has fairly recent training) or sports orthopedist, and find out exactly what the problem is caused by, and how to fix it. That might be orthotics, but could easily be something else that wouldn't cost any more in the long run. Just as an example, something as simple as a strap around the knee (like the Cho-Pat strap) might fix you up.

Unless you know the problem, you're just spending money on random fixes that may or may not work.
After reading all the posts, I think I will visit my orthopedic surgeon first. He did my right knee replacement about 5 years ago. It's not perfect but I believe that's my fault for not doing follow up exercizes after the physical therapy was complete. I want him to x-ray my knee to see what is really going on in there because all the orthodics in the world probably won't compensate for a knee that is shot. I'll ask if my knee is replaced if he thinks I would walk better. Then maybe a podiotrist will take a look and make a recommendation.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #20
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Costco did custom orthotics for a while, so I had a pair of those until they wore out, and they were great. They were around $80, vs the $400 quote I got from a podiatrist.

Tried a pair of the Dr. Scholls from their semi-custom "footmapping" machine, and was pretty pleased with them, but I didn't like how they didn't have any cushioning for the toes (they only cover 3/4 of your feet). They were in the $50-$60 range if I remember correctly.

Went to Good Feet, and got talked into theirs, but they have the same problem of the 3/4 coverage. They're ok, but they were expensive, and don't seem to be any better than the Dr. Scholls.

The non-custom orthotics from costco seem like they might work, or might not, but at least they have a good return policy if they don't. They'd be my first recommendation, and the Dr. Scholls my second.
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