Sunday, December 4, 2022

Orthotic misrepresentation


Good morning everyone

I have recently been exposed to the TOG (The Orthotic Group) which
markets it’s own brand of foot orthoses and also markets a force plate
system called Gaitscan.
In Australia and presumably in other parts of the world TOG have very
good looking websites which categorically state that the Gaitscan system
and TOG provide “custom made” foot orthoses. There is no qualification
about this statement.

The whole process works thus:

Physios, chiros and other health professionals buy the Gaitscan force
pad which in Australia sells for about $10000. When they receive a
referral for a client or in the case of a physio/chiro treating a
foot/knee/back/anything problem, they put the client on the Gaitscan
system which produces a 2 dimensional graph/printout of the foot/feet
position. This is then used as a means of demonstrating to the client
what is supposedly wrong with their feet. From there using the 2
dimensional scan, foot orthoses are ordered from TOG.

I have serious issues with any health professiionals (including us)
using a 2 dimensional scan to order foot orthoses, as I fail to see how
custom foot orthoses can be provided from a 2 dimensional scan. In
addition, as we know already what is happening dynamically is of greater
importance, as opposed to the 2 dimensioanl static pattern.

All the people I have seen using the system are telling clients that the
foot orthoses are custom made, which I think has to be patently
incorrect. My guess is that TOG make OTS foot orthses in a number of
sizes and profiles (as shoes are) and send these to the “treating
professionals”. If there is a problem with the foot orthosis they then
switch it for different one and play “musical foot orthoses”.

I believe that this whole process is unprofessional, unethical, and
dishonest. At this point I would like to reinforce that if the whole
system was marketed as an Off the Shelf system I wouldn’t have such
concerns about it.

Has anybody had the same problems and if so has this issue been tackled
through “Consumer Affairs” or other means to ensure that
clients/consumers are not intentionally conned. Hence what can we all do
to stop such practices?

Cheers and thanks

Phil Francis CPO
Barwon Prosthetics and Orthotics
45 Ballarat Road


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