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What is the evidence for custom-made foot orthoses for foot pain?


Patient Population:

– 1332 patients in 11 trials (482 in custom foot orthoses vs 850 in another intervention/no intervention); 72.5% female

– Ages 12.7 to 63 years

– Etiologies of foot pain included: plantar fasciitis, RA, JIA, pes cavus, hallux valgus


– Custom foot orthosis defined as contoured, removable, in shoe device that is moulded from an impression of the foot and fabricated to prescribed specifications.



– Sham orthoses, no intervenion, standardized interventions given to all participants, prefabricated foot orthoses, combined manipulation, stretching, night splints, surgery


– Follow up between 1 week and 3 years

– Good evidence for custom foot orthoses for Painful pes cavus and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients with rearfoot pain

– Unclear if effective for plantar fasciitis or metatarsophalangeal joint pain in RA compared to control

– Improves pain for Hallux valgus up to 6 months, but Surgery more effective at 6-12 months

– Non-custom orthoses equally as effective in JIA (may lack power to detect difference)

– Custom orthoses were safe in all studies

Outcomes Assessed

  • Benefit
  • Harm
  • Inconclusive

Pes Cavus

Pain up to 3 months

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rear foot pain

MTP joint pain

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Pain up to 3 months

Plantar fasciitis

Pain v. controls

Hallux Valgus

Pain up to 6 months

Compared to Surgery

Relevant Clinical Info

Inclusions:  RCT and controlled clinical trials evaluating custom foot orthoses for any type of foot pain


Primary – Change in level of pain

Secondary – Disability or functional ability (health related QOL, participant satisfaction with intervention, adverse events, compliance)

Participant Information


of participants

the sample size was 1332

their were 11 studies used.

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