Custom orthotics are medical devices prescribed by a foot and ankle surgeon. These are different from shoe inserts and arch supports in that they have two functions. Orthotics can be used to accommodate or offload a prominent area. This can be helpful for bursitis, calluses beneath bony prominences and ulcers. They can also help the foot function better, in the case of hypermobility seen in tendonitis, fasciitis and other mechanically derived conditions. They can help support and align the foot and lower extremities as well. It is important how the foot shape, or mold is captured, whether it be via laser scan, foam box or making a plaster cast.
Orthotics can help delay the need for surgery, if it is not desired at a specific time, or if a child must wait for growth plates to close and for his or her skeleton to be more physically mature. They can also help with pain following a surgery if an optimal result was not possible or achieved.