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Jul 1

Written by: Larry Huppin, DPM
7/1/2009 3:03 PM

The most critical tool for every practitioner of orthotic therapy is a grinder.  Having a grinder in your clinic allows you the ability to make on site modifications anytime an orthosis is somewhat too large or a patient feels arch irritation.   If a grinder is not available practitioners are left with two undesirable options.  The first is to send the orthosis back to the lab every time a minor adjustment is required.   This is obviously inconvenient for the patient and your office staff.  In addition, shipping and adjustment charges quickly eat away your profit. 

The other option is the absence of a grinder is to become overly conservative in your orthosis prescriptions.  We find that practitioners without grinders tend to order smaller orthoses with lower arches so that they can avoid the need for any adjustments.   Unfortunately this means that the devices are also likely to be less effective.   The fact is that larger devices that conform closer to the arch are more clinically efficacious for many pathologies.  These more aggressive devices, however, will occasionally need adjustment.  

An orthotic professional not having the ability to adjust orthoses in their office is akin to an optometrist who is not able to adjust eyeglass frames.   We recommend every practitioner have a simple Sani-grinder, like the one shown above, in their clinic.   ProLab clients can discuss specific adjustment techniques with one of our medical consultants

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