Spurs are for Cowboys

Did you know that only 1 out of 20 people with heel spurs have pain?

Many patients find non-surgical relief using custom orthotics and can avoid surgery. Here’s how orthotic accommodations can help with heel spurs or fat pad atrophy.

orthotic heel pads

1. Pad in heel. Padding is added inside the heel cup.

2. Horseshoe Pads. This horseshoe or tongue-depressor-shaped pad is placed on the posterior portion of the heel cup to create centralized offloading of the heel. The pad is generally constructed of ⅛” material or any desired thickness. Horseshoe pads can be used to relieve pain at the insertion point of the plantar fascia groove and can also help relieve generalized heel pain when fat pad atrophy is present.

3. Intrinsic Heel Pad (IHP) is an approximate quarter-sized cut out in the center of the heel cup in the shell of the orthotic. The size of the cut out can be made larger. The cut out is plugged with Poron® as a standard. There are two options for the IHP:

  •  The plug is covered with a 1/16” padded heel. The plug is visible if the rear foot is posted intrinsically –the plug will be visible from the bottom of the device. We suggest requesting a full suede base if you want the plug protected. 
  • The plug is covered with a ⅛” heel pad, making it flush with the shell. The plug is not visible. If the rear foot is posted intrinsically – the plug will not be visible from the bottom of the device. We suggest requesting a full suede base if you want the plug protected.
  • For patients over 225 pounds, we suggest requesting a Vylyte® plug.
  • An IHP can be used with a mock medial skive. The mock medial skive is made out of Vylyte®   instead of the traditional medial heel skive that is made out of the plate.

4. Carlton Pad. A soft pad placed on the entire midfoot of the shell to completely offload the heel providing relief to generalized pain or heel spurs. Carlton pads can be ⅛” pads or any thickness of your choosing. Ideal for patients weighing over 250 pounds.

Get your patient back to work or back to active living, with orthotic accommodations that relieve heel pain. What can we do to help you accomplish that goal?  Ask us at


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