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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OxPARC

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Orthotists

Hi, I'm Peter Evans. I'm one of the orthotists at the NOC, based in the building called the Tebbit Centre.

My job is to assess our patients' feet and legs to see if specially-made shoe inserts and other orthoses can help reduce pain and improve movement.

How can an orthotist help?

We design and fit all sorts of appliances (orthoses), but in rheumatology we mainly adapt footwear and give exercises to:

  • relieve pain
  • aid movement
  • prevent physical conditions getting worse.

These adaptations and shoe inserts may be worn permanently or used temporarily until they are no longer needed.

How does an orthotist fit in with the rest of the team?

Patients are referred to us if their doctor or physiotherapist suspects the position of the feet or toes is causing or contributing to discomfort or difficulties with leg movement and gait.

We can usually see patients during the Friday clinic (see General Paediatric Rheumatology Clinic). If this isn't possible, a member of the Orthotics Team will arrange a later appointment.

What happens at an orthotics appointment?

The first appointment takes about 30 minutes. Other appointments are usually much shorter.

We examine the foot in and out of shoes and look at how movement and position of the foot affects the leg and hips, walking and footwear.

We may then take measurements for a shoe insert or other orthosis.