Circle Reading Hospital offers a specialised orthotic service to help assess and effectively treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal, neurological and biomechanical problems.
Our orthotic service may see patients as a direct referral to the service from one of our specialist physiotherapists or orthopaedic surgeons after initial consultation or following a surgical procedure. Our holistic approach to biomechanical problems and our multidisciplinary treatments ensure the most rapid return to activities of daily living and sports can be achieved.
As well as helping with a number of common conditions which present, our specialist orthotic service is also able to provide an opinion on any biomechanical problem you may be experiencing.
The treatment that our service offers depends on the exact presenting problem but may involve adaptations to existing footwear as well as providing footbeds to offset a biomechanical problem. In other cases, devices may be used to help specific muscle groups function more effectively after neurological injury.
For efficient movements to occur, the lower limb relies on adequate flexibility, strength, muscular balance and alignment of the hips, knees, ankles, feet and spine. For any given movement, individuals find different methods to reach their balance point in order to perform tasks efficiently.
While it is normal for certain side to side differences to develop, if individuals begin to move repetitively with inefficient movement patterns away from a normal balance point they may start to develop pain or other symptoms which need to be addressed.
An orthotic is defined as a medical device applied to an external part of the body. These devices can be used to re-balance an individual’s biomechanics to enable more efficient movements to occur and to offload painful joints or soft tissue.
Some common biomechanical problems that orthotics can help with include:
- Structurally-rotated hip joint position
- Inward or outward position of the knees (genu valgum or genu varum)
- Poor muscle flexibility of the hamstrings and calf muscles
- Inadequate neuromuscular control of the spine and lower limb
- Flatfoot posture
Biomechanical problems may also be linked with specific musculoskeletal or neurological conditions which may include:
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Ankle osteoarthritis
- Midfoot osteoarthritis
- Big toe osteoarthritis (hallux rigidus)
- Tibialis posterior dysfunction
- Morton’s neuroma
- Acquired brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
Our specialist orthotics department accept direct referrals from individual patients who feel that may benefit from an assessment or from doctors, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals working outside our hospitals.
Within Circle Health, our orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists, neurologists and physiotherapists work very closely with our orthotist to provide the very best holistic care package for our patients.
Initial consultation with an expert orthotist
If referred by another healthcare professional, our orthotist will consider the reason for referral to guide the initial consultation.
All of our patients will be taken through an in-depth conversation regarding the history of their particular issue. This will include the specific timeline of injury or dysfunction, the mechanism behind any trauma and also which particular movements have been affected.
Our orthotist will also discuss the details of any previous healthcare treatment, including any previous orthotic treatment prescribed and the effects these had on the problem. This information will allow our expert to guide a more appropriate physical examination.
A thorough physical examination will be conducted of the spine and lower limbs. The aim of this physical examination is to build on possible causes and, where applicable, determine which solutions may help the particular movement dysfunction.
Physical examination tests which may be carried out may include:
- Assessing the foot shape i.e. flat or high arched foot type
- Assessing the alignment of the lower limb
- Joint range of motion tests, including the ankle/foot as well as the hips
- Muscle length tests
- Resistance tests to check the integrity of the muscles and tendons around the foot and ankle
- Observing your walking (gait pattern)
Gait pattern may also be analysed by pressure plates or cameras to enable visualisation of each stage of the gait cycle.
Treatment tailored just for you
Several forms of orthotics exist, including inner soles that more adequately support the shoe from larger external devices being used to support weakened muscle groups in the event of neurological impairment.
Depending on the possible orthotic solutions identified, it may be that adjustments are needed. Follow-up appointments will be offered as appropriate to optimise the orthotic and to ensure the movement is suitably corrected.
The right treatment for you, always
You will always be given space and time to talk about how your symptoms have affected you.
You will also have the opportunity of talking through your individual goals, both sporting and non-sporting, to help determine the best possible management plan for you.
Our expert orthotist will provide an experienced and comprehensive physical examination. In addition, our investment in the latest technology can help to provide in-depth information on gait mechanics, force distribution and load through the foot during other functional movements.
Our orthotics expert take all of these factors in to account when planning the most effective onward treatment for each patient.
A holistic approach to ensure optimal treatment
We provide a joined-up and communicative service to our patients, and our orthotist has a close working relationship with our orthopaedic and musculoskeletal/neurological physiotherapy departments.
Our holistic approach to treatment ensures all of our departments work towards your treatment goals.
Our orthotic and related services are able to take advantage of the very best in treatment technology.
Our orthotic department can provide bespoke orthotics made to measure each patient’s anatomy perfectly.
If any of our patients require dual treatment, such as a course of neurological or musculoskeletal rehabilitation, Circle Health offers this along with the ability to use our range of technologically-innovative rehabilitation equipment that we have invested in.
Any orthopaedic or soft tissue injections are aided with the latest image-guided scanning equipment.
We provide all of these services in a modern, clean facility which you are able to feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.
To arrange your consultation with an experienced orthotist, contact our friendly team today who will be delighted to help.