Custom made orthotics

Treatment for Arthritis of the Knee in Toronto

Arthritis of the knee is a very common condition and on of the most common causes of pain and disability around the world. Arthritis of the knee when not further specified, usually implies osteoarthritis rather than rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory joint conditions. Over the years many ideas with respect to arthritis of the knee have become accepted among the general public and even doctors. The general thinking is that arthritis of the knee is a normal process of aging and also due to excessive body weight. More importantly many people think that there is not much that can be done with respect to arthritis of the knee until the knee become so dysfunctional or painful that a total knee replacement is necessary.

This line of thinking cannot be further from the truth. There are two main problems with this very common approach. The first problem is that people are unnecessarily dealing with pain and disability. The second problem is that people tend to become less active because of their pain leading to a worsening of their arthritic condition and a general decline in fitness and health.

There are many non surgical and non drug treatments available for arthritis of the knee which can eliminate pain and increase function as well as prolong the life of the arthritic knee. The effective treatments for arthritis of the knee include comprehensive physiotherapy, custom made orthotics and insoles, glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, hyaluronic acid injections and osteoarthritis unloading knee braces.

Not all knees are the same and not all treatments will work for each knee. A detailed assessment of each patient is required to put together a plan of approach that will be successful. At the Toronto Centre for Sports Medicine, Dr. Jack Hakoun has been treating arthritis of the knee for 32 years and has incorporated all of the latest effective approaches to osteoarthritis of the knee. It is not uncommon for people to come into the Toronto Centre for Sports Medicine believing that they need a knee replacement and leave on the same day with an improved ability to walk and with much less pain. These people can often delay knee surgery for years or never have the need for surgery. Their pain is significantly reduced or eliminated and their functional activity and strength are improved. Less pain, improved function and improved health without surgery.

Othotic and custom insole issues

Orthotics or custom made insoles can be used to treat many condition and can be quite useful if properly prescribed. There are many practitioners and many facilities which provide custom made orthotics. A knowledgeable practitioner and comprehensive history and physical examination is key to the appropriate prescribing of orthotics. A full examination extending from the feet to the spine is necessary as orthotic can change the alignment of the lower extremities and spine. A sports medicine physician should have the knowledge and skill to perform such an examination. Patients with abnormalities of the knees hips or back may respond adversely to orthotics. A full assessment will determine whether orthotics may potentially cause issues. One common area of concern is the prescription of orthotics with a lift on one side to correct a difference in leg lengths. Often times we see patients with heel lifts that in fact do not have a leg length difference but rather a rotation in their pelvis. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Make sure your practitioner performs a full assessment of your biomechanics for best results with orthotics. If a leg length discrepancy is “discovered” make sure it is confirmed by several methods of measurement which a qualified practitioner should be able to perform. As a rule we never prescribe a leg length correction or heel lift for custom made orthotics unless we have confirmed the discrepancy with several different measurements and on different occasions.