A spring back in his step thanks to Gait analysis Footscan® and Phits 3D printed insoles
Gait analysis Footscan® is a biomechanical examination where our Physiotherapists determine how efficiently your body moves when walking or running and identify any abnormalities in your feet that may be causing joint, muscle, ligament, or tendon pain.
The results can then be used to design Phits 3D-printed insoles, or Orthotics, specific to individual needs.
Maxwell Raymond-Scott suffers from severe cold-related nerve damage in his feet and legs. He kindly sat down to share his experience with us, including how his injury came about, and the positive and lasting impact his treatment at The Winterbourne Hospital in Dorchester has had on his day-to-day life.
Maxwell, tell me a bit about yourself and what you like doing.
What I liked doing is quite different from what I can do now due to the impact of my injury. Before the nerve damage in my feet and legs, I loved to be active in my choice of hobbies and my job, but I haven’t been nearly as active since, until I came across the Phits insoles, or Orthotics, which made me much more confident when walking.
What led you to come to The Winterbourne Hospital for treatment?
I enquired due to a recommendation by the Medical Secretary for Mr. Savva, who is a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon specialising in lower limb, ankle, and foot surgery at The Winterbourne Hospital. I was told about the Footscan® technology available through Winterbourne Physiotherapy Clinic which provides a dynamic assessment and analysis of the foot, as well as the opportunity to order custom-made Phits insoles from the recorded data, and decided to give them a try.
If you don’t mind doing so, could you tell me how you got your injury?
I was injured in the Antarctic, in the South Pole, working there on a scientific research base. My injury is cold-related, which caused the nerve damage I currently have. It’s been diagnosed as a few different things including frostbite, but nothing has been officially confirmed, and I’m still discovering the true impact of the injury.
What activities were you doing before your injury?
Before my injury, I was a keen sailor and mountaineer. I loved bike riding, rowing, running, long-distance walking, and of course I had a very active job.
What symptoms were you experiencing?
I have severe pain and lack of sensation in my feet and legs as a result of nerve damage, struggle to walk very far, and with my balance.
What process did you go through with your injury before attending The Winterbourne Hospital?
I had some prior treatment with a series of podiatrists and had been through a lot of diagnostics and research, but nothing had been working for my symptoms. Aside from medication and some physiotherapy, I had no other physical intervention before I tried the Phits Orthotics. I went to see Mr. Savva, as mentioned above, who couldn’t help surgically with my specific case, so I was recommended the Winterbourne Physiotherapy Clinic.
What treatment did you receive at The Winterbourne and what did it involve?
I had two visits to Winterbourne Physiotherapy Clinic for this treatment, and both were efficient and excellent. My first visit was to have my feet analysed. I walked across the Footscan® plate many times, which meant my physiotherapist Katie was able to work with the most accurate readings and collect all the information needed to build the most effective Phits Orthotics. It seemed like a very complex and sophisticated piece of technology.
In conjunction with the results from the Footscan®, my feet were then examined in an extremely comprehensive manner by Katie. Her knowledge is exceptional and she understood the features of my injury straight away. I have high arches in my feet, which meant this part missed a lot of the nerve damage I have experienced. Because of this, she focused as high up in the arches of my feet as she could to maximise the sensation that exists.
My second visit was to go and pick up the Phits Orthotics and make sure they were fitting correctly. Overall, Katie was extremely knowledgeable both about the Orthotics and the human body, and how they could work together to be applied to my specific case.
How did it help with the symptoms you were experiencing?
The difference I noticed with having the Phits Orthotics was huge. From the moment I stepped into them, my whole posture was completely different. Before having them fitted I could barely walk, and walking felt like walking on stilts or climbing the stairs at night and missing a step. Now, I don’t go without wearing them and feel much more able and stable when walking. The Phits Orthotics have a great spring to them and a cushioning which supports my feet.
What activities have you been able to do since attending The Winterbourne for treatment?
The Phits Orthotics have helped me to start driving again, which has given me the freedom to get out more and have some independence back. I wouldn’t be confident driving without them now because of the way that they keep my feet in place and maximise the feedback I get through the arches of my feet, which stops me from missing the pedals.
How do you feel after having the treatment and the insoles fitted?
I don’t go anywhere without my Phits Orthotics now and they add a great deal to my life. The main thing I have noticed is the support and stability the Orthotics have given me. I get feedback through the arches of my feet now which enables me to know when my feet touch the ground, and I don’t get that when I’m not wearing the Orthotics.
Although I haven’t been able to get back to everything I liked doing before my injury, my balance has improved greatly, and having use of the Orthotics has taken a significant percentage off the number of times I fall over.
What was your experience like overall at The Winterbourne?
Overall, my experience and the service I received from the Physiotherapy Clinic were superb. Katie went over and above and recommended other services which could be of use to me such as the Ultra-G machine, which I have made use of. Once I saw the high-quality service I received, I wanted to be involved with the treatments on offer. The Winterbourne gives you so much more.
The Winterbourne was a great find and a big step forward in the treatment of my injury.
Would you recommend the treatment and the experience you had?
Yes, wholeheartedly, I was very impressed and would not hesitate in recommending the product or the hospital. I found the Orthotics to be reasonably and competitively priced, and the fact they are physiotherapist recommended was another unique selling point.
I would say the service would be useful not just to people with injuries, but mountaineers, runners, diabetics, or patients who have especially active jobs.