Lower Limb Assessment
Before Prescribing Functional Orthotics, it is very important to assess each patient thoroughly. At our Practice, this takes about 1- ½ hours. An in depth medical history is taken and time spent listening to the specific problems each individual has helps to build up a picture of the main issues and how these can be addressed.
During the assessment muscles and joints in the lower limbs are checked to ensure they have adequate range of movement. Understanding how each patient moves helps with the Prescription writing. For example, the joints in the rear and mid section of the foot in a person with a high arch foot will move differently to the person with a very flat foot.
Joints which have adequate movement off weight bearing may not function well once the patient is standing and this is all assessed.
The patient then walks on the treadmill barefoot. Using the attached video camera, we can look at the patient’s gait in slow motion picking up on problem areas. If we assessing runners we will also video them running on the treadmill as this can often be very different to their walking style.
Finally, we look at footwear. Many simple adaptions can be made to help with the fit of retail footwear and these can make a huge difference.
Having assessed the patient, we can also give advice on the best footwear for each individual. If orthotics are to be used, it is very important that they work with the footwear.
At the end of the assessment, it is explained to the patient where their problems are and why and what options are available. When the general course of action is agreed a treatment plan is devised. The treatment plan may include exercises such as stretching, changes in footwear and for sports persons, changes in training patterns.
During an assessment of the lower limbs approximately 70 measurements are taken when assessing an adult and more when assessing a child.
If it transpires that fully bespoke orthotics are the best option, we take a three dimensional laser scan of the feet. This is e-mailed to the lab along with the prescription.