Custom Orthotics: effective first line treatment for many foot and ankle issues

Cathleen talks about the difference orthotics have made in her life and her overall experience at UFAI.

Custom molded orthotics offer treatment and relief for a variety of foot and ankle problems including ankle instability, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, neuromas and arthritis.


The physicians at University Foot and Ankle Institute are the premier orthotics specialists in California and make over 10,000 pairs a year.


We make orthotics for everyone, from small children to the elderly, from professional athletes to the weekend warrior, and everyone in between.


UFAI provides expert knowledge in the most friendly, professional and comfortable environment.

Custom Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis, Bunions, Arthritis & more...

Many foot and ankle conditions are caused by poor foot position or alignment and can be dramatically improved with use of custom orthotics. The purpose of orthotics is to hold the foot in a certain position while controlling the amount of motion the joints go through while standing, walking and even running.


Many athletes use custom orthotics to improve their performance and endurance. Athletes demand so much from their feet and ankles and even the slightest imbalance in their feet makes them prone to injury. Custom orthotics can reduce the need for muscles to compensate for such imbalances, improving muscle function and decreasing fatigue.


Orthotics are custom-made inserts that slip into your existing shoes. They do not require use of special orthopedic shoes. They can be rigid or flexible, full-length or partial-length, and many different modifications can be added that are specific to your foot or ankle problem.


Orthotics are effective in the management of many conditions, including:

  • Arch or heel pain
  • Flat Feet
  • Bunions & Hammertoes (while they don’t correct these problems, they can help slow the progression)
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Leg length inequality (which can happen after knee or hip surgery, or with scoliosis or other spine or hip problems)

  • Neuroma
  • Arthritis
  • Painful calluses


How Are Our Custom Orthotics Different From Shoe Inserts?

Over-the-counter shoe inserts are designed to fit the average foot, not the unique contours of your foot, and while they may provide some support they are not designed to treat your specific conditions.


UFAI podiatrists will carefully examine your feet as you walk and, if appropriate, run. Every situation and every foot requires a different amount of control and positioning and every foot has a unique arch and foot type. For these reasons, custom orthotics are significantly more effective than over-the-counter type shoe inserts.  


Will My Orthotics Fit In All My Shoes?

There are several different types of orthotics, those for athletic shoes to very thin orthotics used for dress shoes.  While orthotics work in most shoes, they will not work in flip-flops, or any shoe where the heel is able to rise off of it while walking.


How Are Custom Orthotics Made?

Custom Orthotics Los Angeles, University Foot and Ankle Institute

We take great pride and expend a lot of energy in making our custom orthotics nothing less than exceptional.


To create a great orthotic we first take a careful impression of your foot in a neutral position with a plaster molding technique. The UFAI podiatrists have found this to be the most reliable and sensitive technique in orthotic manufacturing.  The mold is then sent to our lab for fabrication with specific accommodations and support customized to each patient’s needs.  


The patient will return to the office to be fitted with the orthotics in their shoes. Another gait analysis will be performed to be certain the orthotics are performing the desired effect. There will be an initial break in period during the first week but after “getting used to the orthotics,” we recommend using them in all shoes in which they will fit.  Patients keep the orthotic molds at home just in case additional orthotics are needed or wanted.  Want to order another pair, no problem, just bring the molds and we simply sent to our lab without us needing to take new impressions.


Custom Foot and Ankle Braces

There are instances when more extensive bracing is required to accommodate a deformity or injury of the tendon, ankle or foot bone. These custom-made braces properly position foot and ankle joints that can relieve symptoms and reduce risk of further damage.  The added support a brace offers may also help reduce your chance of injury during sports activities.  The custom braces can be for temporary or for long-term use.


Custom Charcot Boots For Diabetic Foot Conditions

The Custom Charcot Boot is essential in the treatment of a Charcot foot, a condition that tends to afflict diabetic sufferers.  For patients with Charcot foot, weakening bones create a high risk for breaks and fractures.  Foot deformities and ulcers may also develop, nerve damage exacerbates the problem as patients may not feel or be aware of any injuries.


The Charcot boot protects the foot and ankle and helps prevent breaks and ulcers.  When an injury is present, the custom-boot aides with healing by easing swelling and reducing pressure on the foot. The Charcot boot offers support to the ankle joint and distributes body weight equally throughout the foot and leg.


UFAI: Custom Orthotics Los Angeles

The University Foot and Ankle Institute specialize in custom orthotics, braces and boots for the foot and ankle. Request an appointment with a UFAI podiatrist at our Los Angeles or other Southern California offices today.






Frequently Asked Questions about Orthotics


Q.I have been wearing orthotics for years and recently had knee replacement surgery. Will my orthotics still work or do I now need a new set?

A. Knee replacement can leave you with a leg length discrepancy, where one leg is shorter or longer than the other. It also usually corrects angular deformities in the knee, which can affect the foot/ankle position. Orthotics are sometimes fine after a knee replacement, but other times they do need to be changed.


It is best is to visit your foot and ankle specialist so they can check your leg length and foot position and decide if your orthotics need adjusting.



Have an orthotics question we should add to our FAQ's? Please let us know by clicking here.







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