Contoured, prefabricated foot orthoses demonstrate comparable mechanical properties to contoured, customised foot orthoses: a plantar pressure study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Foot orthoses have been demonstrated to be effective in the management of a range of conditions, but there is debate as to the benefits of customised foot orthoses over less expensive, prefabricated devices.In a randomised, cross-over trial, 15 flat-footed participants aged between 18 and 45 years were provided with semi-rigid, customised orthoses and semi-rigid, contoured, prefabricated orthoses. Pressures and forces were measured using an in-shoe system with subjects wearing shoes alone, wearing customised orthoses, and again when wearing contoured prefabricated orthoses. Two weeks acclimatisation was included between cross-over of therapy. Repeated measures ANOVA models with post-hoc, pair-wise comparisons were used to test for differences.When compared to wearing shoes alone, wearing either the customised orthoses or the prefabricated orthoses was associated with increases in force and force time integrals in the midfoot region. Peak and maximum mean pressure and pressure-time, and force-time integrals were reduced in both the medial and lateral forefoot. There were, however, no significant differences between the customised orthoses and the prefabricated orthoses at any site.There was a similar change in loading with both the semi-rigid customised and the semi-rigid prefabricated orthoses when compared to the shoe alone condition. However, while customised devices offered minor differences over prefabricated orthoses in some variables, these were not statistically significant. The results suggest that there may be only minor differences in the effects on plantar pressures between the customised and the less expensive prefabricated orthoses tested in this study, however further research is warranted.

publication date

  • December 2009