Producing an Orthotic

While orthotics can be made in several different ways, most physicians prefer to make a plaster cast of the patient's foot. This is called a negative impression. The cast is sent to a laboratory with a prescription for recommended modifications. At the lab, a positive cast is made by pouring plaster into the negative cast. When this dries and is removed, it forms a perfect reproduction of the bottom of the foot.

Using the physician's recommendations for corrections, the lab technicians custom-mold an orthotic made of a supportive material that incorporates the necessary adjustments. The orthotic provides the patient with the support, stability, cushioning, and alignment necessary to keep the feet, ankles, and lower body comfortable, healthy, and pain-free.

Publication Review By: Steven L. Rosenberg, D.P.M., John J. Swierzewski, D.P.M.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015