I have just had the worst experience at an orthotics clinic ever!!!!!

I went to fitted for an afo for my right leg that I was casted for over six weeks ago ( despite being told that it would take only 4 at the most).

When the orthotist went to put the afo on me it was extremely lose, so much so I asked whether it was actually the one meant for me. I also commented that it did not have the instep strap, which to me is one of the most important straps on the afo as the high tone in my foot would just pull me out of it, rendering the afo useless.

I noted that when I moved my foot the afo seemed to flex which when I was to weight bear on it there would be little or no support. The orthotist said it should be better inside my piedro boots - to which my response was that now I have two afos I will not be supplied another pair of boots as the support is meant to come frome the splints.

I was there well over an hour while a technician added the right straps and remolded it to fit better.

Luckily he took on board what I had to say, and respected the fact that I know what I'm talking about.

What concerns me most is that I'm lucky in the fact that I can express my concerns and will use my knowledge to get what I know I need, but not everyone can or will, and what happens to them??

7 Replies

  • Don't get me started... I had a appt for a check up and had to cancel. The receptionist was rude saying that I cancelled my previous one as well! It is nothing to do with her.

    Will probably get another one through and my splints are ok but need minor adjustments. I'm an active person I do not sit in the house waiting for appts. to come through. I have found that you have to be very specific about what adjustments you want done. They appts take forever as it is like a shoe fitting. Hope they are fitting well now.

  • honestly.... it's a nightmare isn't it!!! I was lucky that they had a cancelation so managed to squeeze me in....

    I'm also an active person, and don't like taking time off work, but luckily I'm part of a small close knit team so I can arrange cover.

    it seems to fit well, could probably do with a slight padding adjustment, but will just phone up and get a technician to see me as the one i saw was really good.

  • Yeah I agree with both of you-NIGHTMARE. When I was a kid the service was brilliant, coupled with my mum coming along and working her doctor-magic on the orthotist. As soon as I turned 18 I went to the adult service and got a shock!

    I used to see a different orthotist each time and they barely communicated with each other. Once I got a trainee who tried to make a cast and started setting it at the wrong angle! You definitely have to have your wits about you.

    Now I have a better lady who actually seemed to pay attention and even gave me her mobile number because she was like I know once we get it perfect you won't come back for ages so just buzz me on this if you need a quick appointment.

    It's scary to think if my mum didn't have her profession and I didn't have as much of clue what was going on that I might have had more trouble with my splints and I rely on them so much!

  • I had the same, when I was a kid the service was fantastic, they worked really well with my physio and I never had to wait as long as I do now for appointments.

    I didn't have an input from orthotics since I was 18 until I was 24, and have found the adult orthotics service a nightmare....

    I did see a fantastic orthotist a couple of times last year who basically had the impression that I have been using orthotics since before he started the job. He really worked with me and got me what I needed, but I tend to see a different orthotist every time.

  • I have an orthotist assigned to me. It the fact that the appointment takes hours sometimes.

    However they are a big help. Only wearing day splints now ...yes!

  • Thats good, I can't believe how many different ones I see! (and they don't read the notes!) so appointments take hours anyway while I go through virtually my whole orthotics history and there's alot of it!!!

  • I thought I give an update on this post (albeit over a year on!)

    I now see a new Orthotist, and yesterday I was cast for a new right afo, after a year of feeling fobbed off and being told that the afo was fit for purpose when clearly it wasn't!!

    The new afo will be made from a stronger material and have a different strapping set up to pull my ankle into a better position and help correct the deformities in my right foot. It will also have extra padding to relieve pressure points on my foot that get uncomfortable after a while.

    We also reviewed my other splints, and came up with an on going plan to replace my left afo at a later date as there are some mild stress points beginning to appear.

    The strapping and padding was also replaced on my left afo as they were beginning to get worn out.

    I was very impressed that my concerns were listened to and my knowledge and experience of orthotics was respected.