Below are answers to the questions we get asked most frequently.
Don’t see answers to your questions here?
Benefits and Coverage
Are your orthotics and services covered by OHIP?
Unfortunately, no. OHIP does not cover custom-made foot orthotics.
Are orthotics covered by my extended health benefits plan?
Yes. Our products and services are eligible for reimbursement through health benefit plans. We recommend double checking this eligibility as not all plans and plan carriers are the same.
What will I need to submit to my extended health benefits plan?
In most cases, you will be required to submit a written prescription/referral from a physician/family doctor including a medical diagnosis.
Active Alignment Pedorthists will provide you with:
- A copy of our biomechanical examination and gait analysis
- A copy of our lab form which includes lab address, casting technique, materials used, and the fabrication process.
- A receipt showing payment and dispensing date (date you were fitted with the orthotics)
Your first appointment
Do I need to see my doctor before coming in for an assessment?
No. Our Pedorthists will conduct an assessment during your initial appointment with us. Then we’ll create a treatment report with recommendations, which we can share with your physician at your request, following the initial appointment.
What can I expect with my “fitting” appointment?
Come prepared to your appointment with a variety of footwear that you wear often or will be using with your new orthotics. Since your custom-made foot orthotics are handmade, we finish the manufacturing process onsite at your appointment.
A description of expected sensation and comfort will be outlined as per your specific needs. A “getting used to orhtotics” plan will be generated with you to ensure comfort and function.
What can I expect during my assessment?
You can expect to spend 45 minutes with us. During this time, we will go over your history of injury, surgeries, activities, and any other relevant medical information. We will provide a biomechanical exam that includes an anatomical evaluation, range of motion and functional testing; gait analysis and footwear evaluation.
A treatment plan is created so you can determine a plan of action for your treatment. It is very important to us that you leave your appointment feeling confident in understanding your assessment. We place a high value on patient education as we realize the importance it plays not only with your experience, but also in successful outcomes.
About Your Orthotics
I have been told orthotics hurt. Is that true?
On the contrary. If your orthotics hurt, then you must return to your provider to determine what needs to be adjusted to improve comfort.
New orthotics may feel “weird” in the beginning, but weird is OK! In our experience, when the custom-made foot orthotics are casted and designed correctly, the sensation should feel natural and comfortable under your foot. Other than providing relief and comfort, you should not know you are wearing them.
What happens with foot growth in children and their orthotics?
One size per year is the average foot growth rate in children. Our custom-made foot orthotics can be effective and functional for feet that have grown up to 2.5 sizes from the time of fitting. Oftentimes, a small modification can be done to the orthotics to accommodate the increase in size and extend the life span. Contact us to arrange an appointment.
How long do custom foot orthotics last?
On average, custom-made foot orthotics can last anywhere between 2-4 years and sometimes longer. However, there are a lot of factors that affect longevity. These factors include: weight, foot type, personal body mechanics, physical stresses of activity and workplace demands, and the quality of footwear your orthotics are used in.
What is the difference between orthopaedic shoes and custom-made shoes?
Custom-made orthopaedic footwear is most often recommended when the patient’s foot shape or physical/medical condition cannot be accommodated by an off-the-shelf (prefabricate, in-stock) orthopaedic footwear.
Providing such footwear is a highly technical undertaking that always requires a 3D cast of the patient’s foot. The cast is turned into a “last” that remains specific to that individual patient. Footwear design begins around that last to optimize function, accommodation for the individual’s medical needs. Custom-made footwear is created from raw materials. One pair of custom-made orthopaedic shoes/boots may cost anywhere from $1,200- $3,500 per pair.
Off-the-shelf (pre-fabricated, in-stock) orthopaedic shoes are not made for an individual patient. True orthopaedic footwear must incorporate a variety of features that support and are appropriate to specific medical needs. They should also be available in a range of lengths, widths, styles, and materials. Footwear like this is not generally found or purchased at conventional footwear stores or online.
My custom frame brace doesn't fit right. Does this mean it's not right for me?
Not necessarily! Take that brace back to where you purchased it and ask for a re-fit! There are many tricks and tips a fitter can help with. Knowledge on the brace is what the fitters are trained for.
How do I clean the silicone pads on my custom brace?
You can re-invigorate the “suction” with rubbing alcohol. Simply wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol for cleaning. Some companies advise using a baby wipe after each use to reduce build up from skin and lotions.
What are the standard warranty and replacement part policies?
Most custom braces come with a warranty on the parts. “Over the counter” or “non-custom” generally do not. Many of the suppliers who build the custom braces keep a file on each brace. There is item or registration number printed on the inside of your brace. If the brace is under 5 years old (and in some cases 10), there is a high probability that the company may still have your braces information.