What is an interdigital orthosis? Why is it used?

silicone orthosis prototype

An interdigital orthosis is a medical device that is custom-made by the Specialist Podiatrist, the main purpose of which is to change the relationship between the foot and the ground by acting on the osteoarticular structures to prevent, cure and rehabilitate pathological conditions of the foot.

A custom-made orthosis re-establishes the correct pressure in the overloaded areas, correcting the biomechanical conformation of the foot structure and making it possible to reduce the friction (rubbing) and the pressure between the toes and also between the toes and the footwear, the cause of various podopathies (foot illnesses) that have an impact on correct posture.

Examples of podopathies are:

  • interdigital corns
  • hammer toe
  • claw toe
  • various calluses or tylomas

if not properly treated these conditions can become worse and lead to the formation of ulcers, etc.

Various types of interdigital orthosis are used to treat specific foot pathologies, which in some cases can even prevent the onset and/or gradual worsening of the pathology.

 Types of interdigital orthoses

Silicone orthoses are used during the day with normal shoes. They are designed for the toes and for the forefoot and can be combined with plantar orthoses if necessary.
There are three main types of interdigital orthosis:

Protective orthoses

These are used to isolate an area that is sensitive, injured, painful or where there are keratomas.
One case treated with a protective orthosis is:
Conflicting callus on the outer side of the fifth toe and callus on the interphalangeal joint of the fourth toe” (WATCH THE VIDEO).

Corrective orthoses

The purpose of these is to correct malformations, deformities (that can be reduced) and/or postural defects.
One case treated with a corrective orthosis is:
Hallux valgus with stiffness of the first metatarsophalangeal joint” (WATCH THE VIDEO).

Replacement orthoses

These orthoses are designed to replace a part of the foot where for example the toes have been amputated.
One very frequent case treated with a replacement orthosis is:
Diabetic patient, second toe amputated” (WATCH THE VIDEO).

Considering the quality and the type of orthosis to be made, various types of materials and combinations of differential hardness silicones are available.