Bay Area Foot and Ankle Center
Sireesha Battula, DPM
Board Certified Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Albany, CA
Custom orthotics can be used to manage many types of foot, ankle and gait related problems in patients of all ages. Dr. Sireesha Battula, a board-certified podiatrist at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Center in Albany, California serving the greater Berkeley and El Cerrito area, uses in-depth evaluations of each patient’s individual needs based on their lifestyle and activity to create orthotics designed to provide long-term relief and improved mobility for adult and pediatric patients.
Orthotics Q & A
What are custom orthotics?
Custom orthotics are special shoe inserts designed specifically for an individual patient and used to treat an array of issues affecting the feet or ankles, as well as problems that affect balance or are caused by gait abnormalities.
What conditions can be treated with custom orthotics?
Orthotics are used to treat an array of conditions, including:
fallen arches and flat feet
gait instability and balance issues
recurrent corns and calluses
diabetes-related foot problems
congenital foot deformities
Custom orthotics are very carefully fitted using a series of measurements and gait evaluations, then created in a state-of-the-art lab using advanced materials for a very comfortable fit.
Are custom orthotics better than over-the-counter shoe inserts I can buy in the store?
Yes. Custom orthotics are designed specifically for the individual patient, taking many variables into account like foot shape, gait mechanics, the patient’s treatment objectives and overall health, and the specific condition that’s being treated. As a result, they’re much more effective in providing long-term, effective relief of symptoms, and in some cases, they can also be used to treat underlying conditions and improve them over time. Over-the-counter inserts are designed based on very broad concepts and designed for a mass audience rather than an individual patient. As a result, they cannot provide the same degree of long-term relief, and in many cases, they can cause or enable conditions to become worse by delaying professional care. Custom orthotics are also made of very durable materials and designed for long-term wear while mass-produced inserts purchased in a drugstore wear out very quickly, and over time, their cost can exceed any out-of-pocket costs associated with custom orthotics products. Plus, custom orthotics can even be designed to be worn in high heels and athletic shoes.
Will insurance cover the cost of my orthotics?
That depends on the specific insurance plan, but most major medical plans may provide coverage for orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist. The best way to confirm is to call your insurance company directly. If they are not covered under your health care plan, they may be a covered medical expense under a Flexible Spending Account. Medicare Part B currently covers one pair of shoes and three pairs of shoe inserts per year for patients who have an approved diagnosis of diabetes and related conditions.