Supporting the ankle joint and the smaller joints in the foot
Joshua Oguntade BSc (Hons), MSc, MBAPO
My name is Joshua Oguntade and I am a Senior Orthotist based in West Sussex. I also run my own private clinic. I have treated several patients with EDS and symptomatic hypermobility and the aim of this write-up is to share some of my experience helping patients manage this condition.
Orthotics is a specialty of medicine that involves applying an external device to the body to support the neuromuscular and skeletal system.
As most of us know, EDS/HSDs are a group of disorders of the connective tissues. There are several co-morbidities associated with EDS. Joint instability and hypermobility are among the co-morbidities and will be the main focus for the remainder of this write up.
My main experience with helping patients manage this condition has been focussed on providing lower limb support. Some of the affected joints of the lower limb can include, but not limited to, the ankle joint, the smaller joints of the foot, the knee joints.
Insoles or foot orthoses are widely used by orthotists to support the smaller joints of the foot. The hypermobile foot is not able to hold itself up due to the nature of the connective tissues. This can lead to pain in the affected foot. The aim of the insoles is to support the arch of the foot and take some of the strain by spreading the load over a larger surface area. Insoles can either be off-the-shelf or custom made. The decision as to which type is needed is one that is made by the clinician and depends mainly on the severity of any associated deformities
If the ankle joint is also affected, which is often the case, surgical footwear or an ankle brace may need to be prescribed as well to ensure better support for the patient.
For more information with regards to the orthotic management of the conditions described above, you can contact your GP to be referred to your local orthotic service or feel free to contact me through SEDS.