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Practice Analysis of Certified Pedorthists

January 2017


Results Related to Professional Background, Work Setting and Demographic Information

This section provides background information regarding the sample of ABC Certified Pedorthists. The survey included a questionnaire regarding professional history, work environment, educational background and demographic information.

The overall sample responding to the survey was predominantly male, between 45 and 64 years old and Caucasian (77%) and shown in Tables 1, 2 and 3.

Table 1

Gender of Respondents
Prefer not to answer3%


Table 2

Age of Respondents
25 to 3410%
35 to 4419%
45 to 5428%
55 to 6434%
65 or over5%
Prefer not to answer4%


Table 3

Racial/Ethnic Background
Caucasian, not of Hispanic origin77%
Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin4%
American Indian or Alaska Native1%
Pacific Islander1%
More than one race or ethnicity1%
Prefer not to answer8%


Many respondents have earned higher-level educational degrees than is required for entry into the profession, as seen in Table 4. Almost one-third (32%) of respondents have a Bachelor’s degree 28% have some college, 16% have an Associate’s degree and 9% have a Master’s degree.

Table 4

Highest Educational Degree in any Discipline
High school or GED10%
Some college28%
Associate’s degree16%
Bachelor’s degree32%
Master’s degree9%


As shown in Table 5, many respondents held multiple other ABC credentials, with certified orthotic fitter (CFo) being most common (14%); other fitter credentials were also represented, along with a smaller number of practitioners, technicians and assistants.

Table 5

ABC credential(s) held Multiple responses permitted. Totals do not sum to 100%.
Certified Pedorthist–C.Ped100%
Certified Orthotist–CO4%
Certified Prosthetist–CP1%
Certified Prosthetist-Orthotist–CPO1%
Certified Fitter-orthotics–CFo14%
Certified Fitter-mastectomy–CFm1%
Certified Fitter-orthotics and mastectomy–CFom2%
Certified Fitter-therapeutic shoes–CFts2%
Certified Technician-Orthotic–CTO1%
Certified Technician-Prosthetic–CTP1%
Certified Technician-Prosthetic Orthotic–CTPO0%
Certified Orthotic Assistant–COA3%
Certified Prosthetic Assistant–CPA1%
Certified Prosthetic Orthotic Assistant–CPOA3%

As seen in Table 6, respondents were relatively experienced in pedorthics, with an average of 14 years of experience. 

Table 6

Years of Experience

Respondents worked across a range of settings, with the greatest proportion in a privately owned, single location retail setting (21%), followed by privately-owned, single location pedorthic practice as shown in Table 7. Orthotic and prosthetic practices (single and multi-location, private and publicly owned) combined to account for almost 25% of respondents.

Table 7

Primary Work Setting
Single location retail setting–privately owned21%
Multi-facility retail setting–privately owned9%
Single location pedorthic practice–privately owned13%
Multi-facility pedorthic practice–privately owned5%
Single location orthotic and prosthetic practice– privately owned6%
Multi-facility orthotic and prosthetic practice– privately owned11%
Multi-facility orthotic and prosthetic practice– publicly owned8%
Medical practice–privately owned 6%
Hospital-based practice3%
DME/HME facility7%
Sport/athletic company<1%
University-based practice1%
Central fabrication center/company4%

In Table 8, most respondents reported that they work in settings with 1 to 5 pedorthic employees (88%). 

Table 8

Number of Pedorthic Employees at Primary Work Site
16 or more2%

As shown in Table 9, respondents spent the largest percentage of their work time (41%) performing clinical pedorthic patient care, followed by pedorthic fabrication and administration (17% each), with retail pedorthics representing 16% of their time. Respondents also spent a significant amount of time (9%) in continuing education.

Table 9

Percentage of Pedorthic Work Time
Clinical pedorthic patient care (e.g., patient assessment, formulation of the treatment plan, implementation of pedorthic plan, follow-up patient care)41%
Retail pedorthic services (e.g., provision of nonprescription shoes, inserts)16%
Pedorthic fabrication17%
Continuing education9%
Administration (e.g., documentation, reimbursement, marketing, management)17%

As seen in Table 10, respondents’ pedorthic patients were equally likely to be adults and geriatric patients (45% each) and the remaining 10% were pediatric. 

Table 10

Percentage of Pedorthic Patients in each Age Range
Pediatric (0 to 18 years)10%
Adult (19 to 65 years)45%
Geriatric (more than 65 years)45%

The percentage of patients in each diagnostic category is shown in Table 11. Diabetes accounted for the greatest percentage of patients (48%), about two-thirds of whom had diabetes only (diabetes only patients thus totaled about one-third of all pedorthic patients). The next most commonly seen diagnostic categories were arthritis (14%) and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (13%). The most commonly mentioned Other diagnostic category was plantar fasciitis. 

Table 11

Percentage of Pedorthic Patients in each Diagnostic Category
      Diabetes only32%
      Diabetes with ulceration10%
      Diabetes with amputation6%
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction13%
Other diagnostic categories6%

More than half of diabetes patients (51%) had significant peripheral neuropathology, as shown in Table 12.

Table 12

Percentage of Diabetic Patients with Significant Peripheral Neuropathy (for example, drop foot, upper extremity involvement, balance difficulties)

As shown in Table 13, respondents used CAD/CAM in 31% of their custom pedorthic devices.

Table 13

Percentage of Custom Pedorthic Devices Incorporating CAD/CAM

Regarding custom foot orthoses, 47% of these were fabricated onsite and 53% were outsourced to a central fabrication facility. Regarding custom AFOs, 43% of respondents indicated these were outsourced to a central fabrication facility, 22% indicated these were fabricated onsite and 35% did not provide any custom AFOs, as shown in Table 14.

Table 14

Percentage of Custom Foot Orthoses and Custom AFOs Fabricated Onsite or at a Central Fabrication Facility
 Custom Foot Orthoses Custom AFOs
Central fabrication53%43%
Not applicable/do not provide0%35%


Of the custom foot orthoses provided by respondents, more than half (56%) were fabricated utilizing impression foam, 25% were digitized/scanned and 17% were hand cast (see Table 15). 

Table 15

Percentage of custom foot orthoses in each category
Hand cast17%
Impression foam56%