Why we make our own orthotics and how they are better

Why we make our own orthotics and how they are better

Q) Why did we start our own Orthotic Company in 2010?Why we make our own orthotics and how they are better - 1
A) Sometimes you just know things can be better!

I have been making orthoses for patients for a long time now nearly 20 years.  I do it because time and time again I see these seemingly simple devices (they are actually not simple) make great changes to people’s lives. Put simply I have watched as orthoses made with love, passion and a good dash of knowledge and advanced technology, make people live better!

In the past I had all my devices made by third party companies – almost all Podiatrists do. They are made from a script which we fill out giving you a series of options. For many people it works it did for me for many years. However while it worked and worked well, I knew we could do better I knew I could help people MORE and get a better fit if I could have more control right from the start till right to the finish.

Why we make our own orthotics and how they are better - 2

Our Lab technicians working on orthotics for patients each pair is hand finished. Some of our Lab technichians have been making orthotics for more than 15 years – that’s experience!

Better design – I wanted to design orthotics that patients LOVED to wear! So after extensive investigation and visiting 2 other countries, I came across what I consider to be the best orthotic design package available in the world to date.  So we invested in a state of the art system with limitless design capabilities.

Perfect fit – It has to fit our patient’s feet PERFECTLY! Not only did the package come with a brilliant design package it came with a laser scanner that took a 3D scan the accuracy and likes of which I could not find elsewhere. It maps the foot accurately to within half a millimetre – Heck I have had a piece of dirty stuck to someone’s foot and these scanners have picked it up! We bought two world leading scanners – I have not found better

More flexibility-Our patients need us to work with them! With minimal restrictions! If a patient really needs a different cover or a particular fit for a particular shoe, I want to give it to them! I wanted to not be restricted to a series of boxes ticked on a prescription. We now deliver a true Bespoke – custom made orthotic.

Best quality– Our patients deserve the best!  I want to provide all the best materials for my patients! The highest quality, too the best standards- no compromise! I wanted to be the person deciding on the quality – I am super fussy and I like expensive stuff!  We now buy only what we consider will last the longest for our patients and what will deliver them the most comfort and performance!

No excesses – Our patients are paying good money, they deserve only the best. If a cover is wrong, if it isn’t comfortable, if it wears out, if it needs to be better – it is all up to us! It’s not someone else’s fault, a faceless guy at a lab. It all comes back to us! We guarantee what we make- we make the best and stand behind it! 12 months guarantee on the shell and top cover, if it’s not right we fix it and in that time you will never pay!

We started this company to make patients the happiest they can be!

A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle care are located in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. We would love to be able to help you with your foot or ankle pain.

A side note: We are glad to see other practices around us start to develop a love for making their own orthotics. We say that’s great if we can lead the way and others pick up on our technology and as an end result we get all get better results for our patients that’s an awesome thing! We have now been doing this for a long time if we can help you in any way please let us know – Happy to help others get it right!

Fallen arches (Posterior Tibialis tendon dysfunction)

Fallen arches (Posterior Tibialis tendon dysfunction)

Mary decided to visit us at A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care because after starting walking in an effort to lose weight and get fit again, she was getting quite a lot of pain in her right foot. Mary explained that she’d been walking for about 3 weeks, 3 to 4 times a week for about an hour at a time.

Mary is a 49 year old mum of three children she leads a busy life; she works full-time, still runs the family home, volunteers at her husband’s footy club and is trying to get fit!

Mary noticed that she started to get a little bit of pain after each of her walks but put it down to just ‘getting used to walking’. After another week she noticed the pain became more intense and noticed it started very quickly after she began to walk. The week following she noticed the pain began to increase over time it went from hurting when on her walks to eventually hurting when she was not walking at all and all through the day. Mary swears she also has noticed that the arch of her right foot was falling.

After taking a detailed history we began to palpate (push and prod in non-doctor talk) around Mary’s ankle to find the area under the inside of her ankle bone (Her medial malleolus in doctor talk) was very swollen and painful to touch. Using our specialised digital video walk and run analysis equipment we discover that Mary had quite rolled in (over pronated) feet and she was correct, her right foot was more rolled in than her left. We sent Mary off to a radiologist with a referral for an ultrasound to confirm our suspicion that Mary was suffering Posterior Tibialis tendon Dysfunction. She returned that afternoon with exactly that!

Custom made orthoses from a 3d model of your foot

Custom made orthoses from a 3d model of your foot

Having confirmed our diagnosis, we began looking after Mary with the best quality care available. Firstly before leaving we strapped Mary’s foot to take pressure off the overused tendon, we ordered her a specialised brace for the short term again an immediate relief in pain and after a discussion we also prescribed a pair of custom made orthoses. These will stop the overuse of the tendon by reducing the excessive pronation.

Mary’s results have shown that unlike some people who wait too long, Mary came in quickly and has avoided the need for surgery, which can be necessary if this is left too long and not caught quickly. Her orthotics were manufactured in A Step Ahead’s own orthoses laboratory using our custom made milling system and hand finished by our technicians. After a fitting and wearing her orthoses for several weeks we also began a series soft tissue therapy sessions with our team to help rehabilitate the damaged muscle.

New 3d scanners create perfect models of your foot

New 3d scanners create perfect models of your foot

The good news – Mary’s ankle and foot is now back to normal and she has started back to walking slowly! After we designed a ‘return to exercise’ program for her to follow, she has reduced the chance of re-injuring her foot. Rehab took quite some time but was made easier by Mary’s compliance and her willingness to work hard at getting better.

Its always rewarding for our team to meet people like this who are striving to get back to health!