Past Articles:

By: Dr. Jacques Doueck

Dr. Jacques Doueck interviews community healthcare professionals for a state-of-the-art insight into how you can get healthy and stay healthy. This month he interviews Itamar Rosenbaum, board certified pedorthist, who has been helping community members with custom and over-the-counter foot orthotics for years.

A credentialed pedorthist is a specialist in using footwear - including shoes, shoe modifications, foot orthoses and other pedorthic devices - to solve problems in, or related to, the foot and lower limb.

JD:What is an over-the-counter foot orthotic or readymade foot orthotic?

IR: It is a prefabricated insole that gets placed in the shoe to create a more comfortable environment for the foot.

JD:How many different types of orthotics are there?

 IR: There are many different types, but the three primary types are distinguished by the length of the insole. It can extend partially or all the way up to the toes.

JD: What types of footwear can orthotics be worn in?

IR: Orthotics can fit into most types of footwear, with the exception of shoes that are very skimpy or shallow.

JD: How do we decide which orthotic to choose?

IR: We choose what to use based on activity, shoe type, weight, any issues that are discussed and the types of modifications that need to be done.

JD: Can orthotics be modified to accommodate issues that arise?

IR: Yes, they can in most cases, but again that would depend on where the modification needs to be done -- front of foot, arch area, or heel area.

JD: What are some common foot problems that orthodics can be used for?

IR: Heel spurs, corns, calluses, painful balls of feet, hammertoes, flat feet, high arched feet, tired or achy feet, sports activities, following surgery, etc.

JD: When are they not appropriate to use?

IR: They are not appropriate when a more specialized approach needs to be taken, or when they will not have the strength needed to do their job, or when several different materials need to be used, or when we need to use super slim materials to fit into a shoe.

JD: What materials are they made from?

IR: They can be made from many materials such as cork, rubber, EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), subortholene, foam or leather.

JD: Do they sweat?

IR: That depends on three things: the age of the foot on the individual, the materials used - synthetic versus leather - and the footwear type that they will be placed in.

JD: From what age and until what age can they safely be used? 

IR: Orthotics can be used from as early as the child starts walking until old age but, of course, different material must be used to accommodate each foot type.

Dr. Itamar Rosenbaum is a board certified pedorthist by both the American Board for Certification in Orthotics Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) and the Board of Certification International (BOC). He is an associate member of the American Professional wound care association APWCA). Dr. Rosenbaum received training at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM) and headed the Gait Analysis Lab at the Foot Clinics of New York (FCNY) which is located at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, for 2 years. Dr. Rosenbaum is a continuing education provider and has been featured in national and international publications as an expert panelist. Tel. 718-236-7700.