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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my appointment take?

The length of your appointment will depend on the nature of your referral. As a guide, appointments usually take a minimum of 20 minutes and for complex assessments and casts up to an hour.

You can see more information about your appointment via the " Your Appointment" page.

Can I bring a friend or family member with me to the appointment?
You are very welcome to bring someone else to your appointment.   
How long will it take for me to be supplied with my orthosis?

This will depend on what orthosis you require.  We hold a stock of certain items which can be supplied on the day of your appointment. However, some patients require bespoke items, these items will have to be ordered in, once they are received by the department you will be sent an appointment letter to have the item fitted.

What footwear is best for accommodating an orthosis?
It may be necessary to change your chosen style of footwear if your orthosis is to be effective. Shoes or boots should have a strong, wide, supportive base. Any shoes with a heel higher than three centimetres are generally unsuitable for use, as are most types of slip-on and court shoes, as they will either end up too tight or slip off when walking. Generally, trainers or other shoes with a fastening (laces or Velcro) are the best for accommodating orthoses.

Removing the original inlay from inside your shoes will create extra space for your orthosis.

Please download the two leaflets below for further information.

Over splint footwear(PDF, 795Kb)

Footwear advice (PDF, 956Kb)

What do I do if I have not heard regarding my appointment?

Please contact the orthotics service on the numbers provided in the contact information.

How many orthoses am I allowed?

Please use the link below to download a patient entitlement poster which outlines what you are entitled to as a patient.

Patient Entitlements Poster (PDF, 515Kb)

What type of shoe is best to raise/modify?

Enclosed shoes with a secure fastening (laces or Velcro) are best suited to be adapted. Shoes with a reasonable sole and heel material depth, a plain wedge-type sole unit of a firm density material, and trainers without air bubbles, are suitable styles.

Avoid shoes with welt stitching through the sole, or sole units with hollows, cut-outs or complex tread patterns. Shoes with black, white or brown soles will give a more cosmetic appearance rather than unusual, bright or multi-coloured soles.

If you are unsure about the suitability of your shoes for adaptations, please ask at reception when you bring in shoes for adaptation.

We also have a leaflet to advise on adapting your footwear.

What do I do if my orthosis breaks?

Please keep your orthoses in good repair.  If the orthosis you have been provided with breaks or becomes worn contact the departmentregarding its repair. For example, if you have received footwear you can drop them into the department to be re-soled as necessary, or to have Velcro straps replaced on splints or new covers on functional foot orthoses/insoles.

Please ensure you label your devices when dropping them off.  We will contact you when they are ready for collection.

Please note, no orders can be placed for patients who have not been reviewed by the orthotics service within the last 12 months.

Please see our repair service poster for more information, via the link below:

Repair Service Poster (PDF, 513Kb)

Can I purchase additional orthoses privately via the hospital?
Yes, certain orthoses can be purchased privately if you require additional items above your entitlement.  The orthotic staff will ask you to complete a “private purchase agreement form” this will give us consent to allow the manufacturer to contact you directly for payment.  Any item ordered will be processed via the orthotics department and fitted or collected in line with department policies. Please contact orthotics for further information.

Do I need to go back to my referrer for another prescription when my orthosis no longer fits or wears out?
No, you do not need another referral for the same orthosis. Your referral will last as long as you require the orthosis, as assessed by your orthotist. This prevents the need for long term users to repeatedly have to access their referrer for a repeat referral. When the product has worn out, no longer gives adequate support, or the patient’s condition has developed and the item is no longer suitable, then the patient will be re-measured and the orthosis replaced. Products will be replaced one for one, within the allowances set out on this website.

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham