Many practitioners develop habits of prescription writing for orthotics. All of us have favorite, and not-so-favorite, additions to our devices. As we treat more patients, and write more prescriptions, we tend to develop patterns. Although experience is invaluable, one pitfall that can occur is relying on the familiar. As the process of orthotic and brace fabrication develops, new technologies, materials and device options will become available. Compared to when I attended podiatry school, the options on any orthotic prescription form have increased by double. The medial skive, Blake Inversion, Reverse Morton's Extension and no lateral bevel options are fairly recent additions to most prescription forms. As the world becomes a smaller place, the options for material choice will only expand. As more research produces evidence, the orthotic/bracing world will continue to grow and improve.
To stay fresh is often a challenge, but there are clues, if you just allow yourself to see them. It is likely that if you receive a new prescription form from a laboratory, they have made some significant changes to their options. Take a moment to compare it to the old form and look on the web site if there are changes that are unfamiliar to you. If you receive emails or updates from a company, be sure to read over them. If there are conferenes that have sections devoted to research, try to make time to attend. These are all ways that we can all work to stay up to date and improve our patient care . Not all changes are better or permanent, but change is certain.