Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need a referral to see a podiatrist?
- Do you do general podiatry too?
- How often do I need to visit a podiatrist?
- Does Medicare cover podiatry?
- Will my health fund cover some of the cost?
- Do I need a referral to get orthotics?
- What’s the difference between hard and soft orthotics?
- What should I bring to the appointment?
- How long do they last?
- How long does it take to get used to them?
- When should they be replaced?
- How do I stop my old orthotics squeaking in my shoes?
- Should orthotics cause blisters?
- What’s the difference between custom and off the shelf orthotics?
- Will my Health Fund cover the cost?
Do I need a referral to see a podiatrist?
No, although many patients are referred to our clinic.
Do you do general podiatry too?
Yes – Sydney City & Bondi
No – West Pymble & North Sydney
How often do I need to visit a podiatrist?
Many general podiatry patients have recurring problems due to genetic factors, lifestyle or footwear choice. Some footwear related problems (such as corns from tight shoes) are fixed with a one-off treatment and shoe advice, whereas others may require occasional ongoing care. Pain is usually a good indicator of when its time to return.
Does Medicare cover podiatry?
Not usually, but recently the government has included podiatry under its enhanced care plan formula for chronic conditions. Ask your G.P. if you fit this criteria.
Will my health fund cover some of the cost?
If you are in the top level of your health fund, you should be covered. If you are unsure, check with your fund. We are equipped with the HICAPS eftpos terminal for instant health fund payment, so if you bring your card you will only have to pay the gap.
Do I need a referral to get orthotics?
No, although many patients are referred to get orthotics by their physiotherapist, general practitioner, sports physician or personal trainer.
What’s the difference between hard and soft orthotics?
The materials an orthotic is made from determines its rigidity (softness or hardness). Orthotics can range from soft, flex, semi-flex, semi-rigid up to rigid depending on the diagnosis and the weight of the person (e.g: a material that is “semi-flex” for a 100kg runner will be “rigid” for a 50kg runner) . A detailed biomechanical examination will help to determine the correct orthotic material required.
Where possible, all our sports orthotics have the thickest, softest top cover for comfort possible without constricting the foot inside the shoe. As most sports shoes and many casual shoes have a removable liner, this is generally discarded when a full length sports orthotic is fitted inside the shoe.
What should I bring to the appointment?
If you have been referred, please bring your referral letter. Any relevant scans can help such as X-rays, CT’s, MRI’s etc if you have them. It is also helpful if you bring shorts or tracksuit pants and your old and new sports shoes if you have them to check suitability and wear patterns. If you don’t have new shoes, don’t buy any as we will normally recommend a suitable replacement and many patients come in with the wrong shoes.
How long do they last?
Depending on wear and tear, the shell of the orthotic will normally last between 2 to 5 years. We normally recommend that you replace your orthotics with a fresh cast after five years, as your feet do gradually change shape over time.
How long does it take to get used to them?
Usually up to 2 weeks if you don’t have a history of orthotics. If we are replacing an old pair, normally just a few days. If you reach 2 weeks and just can’t get comfortable in them, please contact us for a free check-up appointment.
When should they be replaced?
If no problems have occurred since they were first issued, it is worth having them checked by your podiatrist every 18 to 24 months. If new or previous pain symptoms reappear, it is important to check them immediately.
If the orthotic cover is worn or splitting but the shell looks intact, they may only need a recover. Ask your podiatrist.
As a rough guide, it is usually worth recasting for new orthotics after 5 years, as your feet gradually change with age and activity.
How do I stop my old orthotics squeaking in my shoes?
A. Movement of the orthotic against the shoe can buff the orthotic up to a smooth shine. Simply rough the orthotic gently with a mild sandpaper or file to remove the shiny edges. You should also try a liberal amunt of talc inside the shoe or rubbing a cake of soap along the edges. These will act as a lubricant to stop the squeak. If this doesn’t solve the problem, bring them in and we’ll fix the problem for you.
Should orthotics cause blisters?
No. Bring them straight in for a check-up. Blisters can occur as a result of: Orthotics being too high; orthotics not fitting the shoe properly; shoes being too worn; poor calf muscle range; poor sock choice; and worn shoes, just to name a few.
What’s the difference between custom and off the shelf orthotics?
Off the shelf orthotics are made to fit an average foot shape, and as such their correction is limited and symmetrical. They are also made from compressible foams and as such, distort very quickly especially as the foot may have to deal with up to four times the persons bodyweight in running. They do have a place for very mild pronation problems, or if a patient needs an extremely lightweight race orthotics for track and field over middle distances.
Custom orthotics have the advantage of being prescribed exactly for the patients condition, and are usually made from more durable materials, hence keeping their corrective properties for up to several years.
Will my Health Fund cover the cost?
As long as you are in the top levels of most health funds, you should be covered for orthotics (annually and per family member) and consultations. Rebates will vary so if you’re unsure, check with your health fund directly. Sydney Sports Podiatry is also equipped with HICAPS at both locations so if you are covered, you can swipe your card at our clinics and you will only have to pay the gap.