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Oct 7

Written by: Larry Huppin, DPM
10/7/2010 12:31 PM

The following is an email we received from a patient who received her orthoses about two years ago and since moved out of state.  It is a good example of how patients need to be educated on the reasonable lifespan of foot orthoses and the importance of occasional refurbishment. You might find this useful in discussing orthotic lifespan with your own patients.  

Hi,
I've been wearing the orthotics Dr. Huppin prescribed. I like them in many ways and they've definitely relieved bunion pain. I'm disappointed in the durability however. The 3/4 dress pair is coming apart / worn through on the edge of the heel-cup, so is too sharp on my heel now.


Dear _____

Good to hear from you. I hope you are doing well in your new home.

The shell (hard portion) of foot orthotics usually lasts for several years. The soft portions (covers, cushions, etc) will last for at most one year. Shoes worn every day do not last longer than that and no soft material will survive the daily friction and moisture inside a shoe. We usually recommend that orthoses be refurbished once per year to maintain their best function and comfort.

I see you live out of state now. You can mail them in to us and we can have them completely refurbished for you. Before you do that we’ll pull your chart to check your orthotic prescription and get back to you later today with a price for the refurbishment.

To have the orthotic refurbished at the lab, you would be without your orthotics for about two weeks - maybe one week if it is something we can do in the office. Many of our patients like to get an extra pair first so that they do not have to be without the orthoses. In the future you can rotate the two pairs as one needs to be refurbished.  When we contact you later we'll let you know the cost of an additional pair.  

We’ll be back to you soon and then you can let us know what you wish to do.

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