Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Pedorthist Consult for my Orthotics

If you've been following my blog, you know that I recently got custom orthotics to help manage hallux rigidus. The first pair wasn't quite right, and neither was the second. It was time to call in an orthotics expert - a pedorthist.

The Pedorthist

I met Rachel, the pedorthist behind Soleful Orthotics Solutions, when she came to speak to the Women's Training Program. It was a couple of weeks before my first podiatrist appointment. She came back every week to run with WTP. She listened to my hallux rigidus saga and gave me suggestions for toe-friendly shoes for work

When I was having trouble adjusting to my first pair of orthotics, she ran with me and gave me some helpful guidance. Now that my second pair of orthotics was still not hitting the mark, it was time for a formal consult

The Consult

For the consult, Rachel:
  • came to my house
  • reviewed my foot history
  • looked at all of my shoes
  • took a video of me walking barefoot on the treadmill
  • took photos of my feet on various corrective devices
She spent a lot of time with me, asked a lot of questions, and patiently answered all of my questions

A typical next step would be for Rachel to make custom orthotics for me. Since I already had $600 invested in the orthotics from the podiatrist, however, our next step was a detailed write-up of recommendations for altering my existing orthotics that I could give to my podiatrist.

She also sent the marked-up pictures of my feet for me to give to him:
  • Upper left photo: Standing on my custom orthotics. Note the pronation and suggestion for medial posting.
  • Upper right photo: Standing on Green SuperFeet. The pronation is improved, but not completely.
  • Lower photos: show details about the medial posting correction and adding a morton's extension under my big toes to limit movement.

Back to the Podiatrist

I went back to my doctor with Rachel's written notes and photos, and we discussed making the modifications to my orthotics. He cautioned me that the morton's extension is rigid and could limit my activity (i.e., running), which is why he hadn't gone in that direction initially. I checked with Rachel and she said that the extension should be semi-rigid, "made out of  40-50 durometer foam rather than plastic or carbon fiber."

My doctor was receptive to the changes. Now my orthotics are going back to the lab where medial posting and a semi-rigid morton's extension will be added, and the dancers' pads will be removed. I am hoping that the third time is the charm for these orthotics.


  1. Wow. That's pretty amazing. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the third time IS the charm! Good luck!!

  2. Wow! She came to your house! And did all of that! It's cool that you got those pictures and detailed explanations.

    1. It was so refreshing in comparison to a super short doctor appointment where you never get to ask all of your questions!

  3. Orthotics are $$$! I hope that with this new knowledge, yours will now work 100% for you. Wonderful service from Rachel and Soleful Orthotics Solutions!