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How many custom made foot orthotics?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Simon Spooner, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    How many pairs of custom foot orthoses are prescribed per year? A friend just asked me this and I'm pretty sure as a profession we have no idea. Any guesses? Any national / local data?:pigs::confused::pigs:
  2. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  3. So I don't suppose we know how much the "foot orthoses business" is worth world wide?
  4. Simon:

    Try contacting Paul Scherer or Chris MacLean, they would probably have a better idea especially considering their affiliation with PFOLA.
  5. Thanks Kevin
  6. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    The lack of replies is a reflection of how little we know. I even added this thread to the threads needing some TLC list.
  7. Mac

    Mac Member

    Hi Gang:

    Sorry I can't shed light on this one. We have tried to collect this type of market information but some Labs have been reluctant to share their numbers.

  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Chris - thanks for stopping by.

    This would be good data if it could have been obtained. Maybe someone needs to do a project on this. It should not be too difficult to come up with some sort of assumptions to classify labs into small, medium and large and then reach some sort of consensus on what might be a reasonable annual production from a lab that is small, medium or large then extrapolate that to the global market (but then that would not factor in non-traditional labs like the chiropractic ones; maybe Amfit's and other 'central fabrication' labs, etc) ... maybe too many assumptions to get any good data.

    Other way would be to take some sort of random sample of clinicians (from a number of disciplines) in each country and look at their individual orthotic use ... then extrapolate that to national and international figures.

    I did a project many years ago (diabetes amputation) using capture-recapture statistical methodology that would be perfect for this ...
  9. Mac

    Mac Member

    Here is a VERY rough estimate that we came up with a few years ago. We estimated that the US market for custom foot orthoses was ~$160-200 million per annum. Using the 10:1 rule (Canada population: ~33 million; US population: ~300 million).

    We then estimated that the Canadian market was probably 10% of the US and therefore ~$16-20 million/year.

    Another way to look at this is based on average account pairage. In Canada, our information indicates the following regarding annual volume:

    There are ~750 foot health care specialists in Canada (DPM, DPodM, DCh) ordering ~135000-225000 pairs per annum.

    Hypothetically, at ~$115.00 CAD per pair (average Lab fees), this equates to ~$16-26 million per year.

    What we have not considered here are the pairs produced by the PT and certified orthotist communities.

    Hope this helps.

  10. When I was consulting for one of the top 4 ( Volume) custom foot orthotics labs in 1994, our lab had 10% market share and produced 100,00 pair of custom orthotics a year. Therefore, we estimated that, at that time, the total volume of foot orthoses fabricated for the PODIATRIC marketplace was 1 million pair per year. This figure does not include the huge chiropractic market in the U.S which may rival the podiatric market. The largest fabricator of "custom" foot orthoses in the U.S. is, in fact a chiro lab known as Foot Levelers. Their volume remains a well kept secret, although I have heard estimates of up to 500,000 pair a year.
    Nearly everyone I know in this industry say that the market has grown significantly since 1994. Most labs have increased volume at a rate of 10% per year over the past 10 years. This industry is robust ! So I ask: Why??

    Doug Richie
  11. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Maybe you are trying to gathering your Data from the wrong end of the supply stream? think outside the square. who has nothing/little to loose in giving out this information, who already has this information?

    l maybe wrong, but would the Health insurance providers supply you with the Data for the nett amount they issue refunds for Custom orthotics ?
    They would have those figures ready for the next Board/shareholders meeting l am sure.

    Lets face it we all charge different amounts for similar product and this may well be the only way of getting a true picture of the true$ value of the market.

    Your lab figures would not capture those that produce custom orthosis in house, but they still get claimed for at the Health insurance office

    Of course there may well be 15% difference for those that dont claim but it is one way of getting better data on the true $ value
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2007
  12. Might work in oz but a good proportion of orthotics here are issued by the NHS.
  13. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    l dont know that it will work here either, it was a question, but would the NHS give you guys that info if it was part of research to "Better service the public"?

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