Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral to be assessed for orthotics?
A doctors or physiotherapist referral before the appointment is preferred however not required. Often we can perform an assessment and determine if orthotics are required and then contact your physician for a referral if he or she agrees with the treatment plan.

Where are the orthotics built?
Our lab in Kelowna fabricates most custom orthotics that we build. We also offer some prefabricated orthotics and have partnership to state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing.

Are your orthotics covered under a warranty?
Yes we guarantee what we build. We guarantee the workmanship and durability of most orthotics for three months to one year depending on the reason for repair.

What services do you provide?
As a certified Orthotist, Birgit Gremmen is trained to assess and fit almost all external body bracing devices. Our staff have you covered head to toe. From cranial molding helmets to foot orthotics, and everything in between (well maybe not the teeth). Some of our services include:
• Shoulder supports for chronic dislocation or postsurgical care; and hand, wrist and elbow orthoses.
• Our staff have extensive experience in braces for scoliosis management, spinal trauma and supports for chronic back pain issues.
• A full spectrum of lower limb orthotics from slender foot orthotics for dress shoes to full leg braces to help out clients with spinal or neurological issues be able to stand and move.

Do you have braces for sports injuries or protection from injury? Ortho design uses several different types of sports braces to protect and enhance function for clients with injuries. We cast for custom sports knee braces and use a number of top rated manufacturers to build these for us. Our most commonly used brace is the Townsend Premier which is built on a cast of the clients leg. It is a more time-consuming method to capture the shape of a leg but the results are well worth it. Ortho Design carries ankle braces for acute or chronic ankle instabilities. We can also custom fabricate ankle braces for those who require solid protection with high performance.

Can I wear foot orthotics in any shoe?
At the initial assessment we ask that you bring the type of shoes you normally wear. We will attempt to fabricate an orthotic that will work with your lifestyle and the shoes you already have. However we may recommend a different type of shoe that would be beneficial for your particular treatment goal.

Is your facility wheelchair accessible?
Yes we have available two wheelchair accessible parking spots large enough to fit a van with a lift.

Does everyone who has an assessment have an orthotic recommended?
No, after a thorough assessment we will give you the best advice for your treatment plan. This may include designing and fabricating an orthotic or perhaps referring you to other medical specialists such as your GP, a physiatrist, physiotherapists or a surgeon.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
We ask that you bring shoes you generally wear, preferably an older pair of shoes within wear pattern if we are assessing for foot orthotics. If you have had any previous orthotics of any type made please bring them to the appointment as well. If we are assessing the lower limbs a pair of shorts so that we may observe the whole limb during our gait assessment. Please plan on at least 45 minute for your initial appointment.

How often should foot orthotics be replaced?
A pair of hard plastic the foot orthotics can last up to 20 years with some maintenance on the cover. If you have been fitted with a softer type of orthotic you may find that it needs replacement within 3 to 5 years. If symptoms change with time or your foot has changed shape you may require a remould to achieve the best function

Who pays for orthotics? Are they covered under regular medical benefits?
Unfortunately the BC government covers only a very limited number of people for orthotic benefits. If a client is under 18 years of age he/she may be able to get full or partial funding through the fair care Pharmacare program. There is some coverage for people on social assistance as well as First Nations clients. Private insurance companies often will cover foot orthotics and other type of bracing devices but you must check with your health insurance plan as to what your eligibility is. If you have any questions please contact our receptionist and she will guide you through the payment options. Clients sent to Ortho Design from Worksafe and ICBC will have coverage under these respective agency. We will complete most applications and provide as much advice and assistance as you need.

There are so many different types of providers for orthotics, why choose a certified Orthotist?
Certified Orthotists have the biggest toolbox for providing the different services needed. This means that we are able to assess, fabricate and fit all devices or external supports. Because we build most of our orthotics in house we can service, adjust and replace them in our own lab. We supervise every step of your bracing treatment to assure an optimal outcome.

How do I arrange for an appointment?
Simply call our office or ask your physician to directly fax your referral to us.