“Extremely Expensive” Insoles (II)

(Continued…)

Customized foot pads are widely used in sports and medical fields

In China, biomechanical foot pads are popular in some sports enthusiast circles. Especially for marathon enthusiasts, suitable footpads and marathon pants are the two marathons “magic weapons”, which can improve posture, save physical energy, improve endurance, and reduce sports injuries.

In the medical field, after decades of clinical testing, orthopedic footpads are currently mainly used in orthopedics for flat feet, plantar fasciitis, abnormal gait, unequal length of lower limbs, and secondary knee joint disease and lower back pain. , Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis and many other diseases have a positive effect.

In addition, footpads should also be used for the prevention and improvement of diabetic feet-diabetic patients due to foot neuropathy, poor perception, blood circulation, and tissue repair capabilities can cause foot ulcers, infections, and serious possible causes. Amputation. Reasonable biomechanical foot pads can improve this situation and improve the quality of life of diabetic patients. However, this application started late in the country and there is little research. Fortunately, it is being gradually valued by clinicians.

Why are footpads so expensive?

Insoles serve as “foot”, and there are many types according to different classification methods. According to the production method, it can be divided into prefabricated, semi-customized, and customized; according to the different application parts, there are full-foot, also dedicated to the forefoot, arch, heel, and toe.

According to different uses, there are corrective models, sports models, and high-heel models; according to different production methods, there are 3D printed, thermoplastic, and laminated models; depending on the hardness, there are hard, semi-hard, and soft; According to the different materials, there are silicone, plastic, EVA…

 

To achieve the best effect of corrective footpads, it must be “tailored”. The simplest and original method is manual measurement and manual evaluation. Based on the experience of the physiotherapist, various items needed to customize a pair of footpads can be obtained through foot length, foot width, callus position, ankle joint angle, and walking posture. data.

To be more precise, take a foot mold, rub the shape of the foot with plaster or a “sand mold” of a specific material, and then go through a series of processes such as “inverted mold” to obtain the complete data of a person’s foot model.

More high-tech is to obtain digital foot data through foot 3D scanning and pressure analysis, which is more accurate.

In addition, some advanced assessment institutions and biomechanics laboratories also have more professional digital equipment, such as proprioceptive sensory measuring instruments, gait analyzers, kinesiology analyzers, and so on. Through the analysis of the patient’s movement posture and plantar forces, through the comparison of big data and computer modeling, a pair of biomechanical customized foot pads are designed.

The material of the corrective footpad may not be expensive, and the manufacturing process may not be complicated, but where does the value of medical technology reflect? To paraphrase an old saying in technical work: “Drawing this line may only be worth $1, but knowing where to draw it is worth $9,999.”

Depending on the material, purpose, model making, and production process, in the United States, a pair of ordinary custom foot pads can cost between US$200 and US$800. In China, customized footpads, a rehabilitation aid, are not included in the management of medical devices (Guo Food and Drug Administration [2007] No. 93, Article 62). According to industry sources, the price of a pair of customized insoles may range from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan. The so-called “sky price” mentioned in the news far underestimates the technical value of corrective insoles.

The effect of the use of footpads will vary depending on the patient’s symptoms, physical therapist, and even the technical level of footpad making. This also allows some speculators to use useless so-called “health insoles” to pretend to be “biomechanical custom insoles” so that the public’s impression of “custom insoles” remains deceptive and ineffective. On the other hand, bad money may drive out good money.

In the news report, the specific situation of hospital insoles needs to wait for the results of the investigation. However, due to the current incident, the treatment of orthopedic footpads in many hospitals has been suspended, and the treatment of many patients has also been shelved. This may not be good news for them. It is hoped that management in this field can be standardized as soon as possible so that patients in need can receive effective treatment on time.

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