to buy or not to buy? orthotic confusion

suzu1982 Member Posts: 21
edited 30. Aug 2013, 10:27 in Living with Arthritis archive
I've been to my GP and been told that I have flat feet and I will need orthotic insoles. She didn't offer a referral to podiatry and I didn't think about asking until I got home (isn't it always the way lol?)
Should I bother asking for a referral or should I just buy some insoles? Can anyone recommend a decent and not hugely expensive brand?


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was given a referral to orthotics via my rheumatologist and now have two pairs (at £180 per pair paid by the NHS); the second lot are higher under the arch and both were tailor-made for me. They don't help that much in terms of relieving pain - in fact they cause a little more :) because my knee joints are facing forwards instead of turning in but I do walk better when using them. Mass-produced insoles are widely available, and you get what you pay for, but it might be a way to find out if they will help or not. DD
  • knuckleduster
    knuckleduster Member Posts: 551
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Suzu

    It's not only you who is confused, but the medical profession is too. When I had a knee problem, my "knee man" who has got a good reputation in this area sent me to a physio first for help who kindly told me my feet were all wrong and I needed to wear insoles in every pair of shoes. It was summer at the time and he told me to velcro some into my sandals. I had a dreadful fall, which thankfully I recovered from but I always swore it was the insoles which made me unbalanced. Anyway, after six sessions of physio I reported back to my consultant saying the knee was no better despite wearing the insoles each day and he said "you don't need them".

    I've since had a THR which left me with one leg half an inch shorter and I suffered with back problems ever since due to the way I now walk. I've asked numerous physios, doctors and my osteopath "do I need a heel lift?" And all I get is "it might work, or it won't make difference, or you can't just put a half inch lift in because it will give you more problems than you've started with." And all this has left me totally confused too.

    I hope you get some better answers from other forum members.

    Janet xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,706
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I see my orthotist all too regularly :roll: but, however one looks at it, I'd have thought orthotic insoles require an orthotist and that requires a referral. I think you need to return to your GP for, at the very least, clarification, though, if she's written up your notes well, the receptionist might be able to just remind her to put you in for a referral.

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