Functional Foot Orthosis (FFO)

What does a functional foot orthosis do?

It is designed to realign the bones and joints within your foot. This realignment will reduce stress within your knee, ankle and foot.

You may be given a single FFO or a pair of FFO’s.

Will I be able to wear them straight away?

The FFO’s will feel strange at first and may affect your balance. We advise you to wear them for half an hour on the first day and then build up by a further half an hour on each following day. When you are able to wear the orthoses for four hours comfortably then you can wear them for the whole day.

Should I be prepared for any problems?

You may experience mild aches and pains while you build up the time of use but they should pass. If the FFO becomes uncomfortable then you should reduce the time you wear the device, and then increase wearing again slowly.

How long do I have to wear them for?

It is important that you wear the orthoses all day once you have become used to them. Only after a period of time will your symptoms start to subside. This may be more than six weeks for knee pain and will require the orthoses to be worn for most of the time. If you continue to wear your FFO’s once your symptoms have gone they will work to prevent the problem recurring.

Do I need to come back?

A review appointment will be arranged after the first supply. If you are having problems with the FFO’s before this appointment please contact the orthotic department. Remember it is normal for the FFO’s to be a little uncomfortable at times but you should not be in pain. After time the FFO’s may compress a little reducing their effectiveness. If you feel that your symptoms are returning, then it is a good time to have your FFO’s reviewed – on average it will be after 12 –18 months wear, but it could be longer.

Can they be used in sport?

Wearing for sport is not advisable until you can wear the FFO’s for the whole day.
It is advisable then to wear them for one quarter of the time you spend doing your
sport on the first attempt and then build up gradually. Be aware that the FFO’s will
alter your balance slightly.

Will the FFO’s go into other footwear?

The correct form of footwear is important to give the FFO’s the opportunity to work correctly. To start with it is best to wear the FFO’s in a pair of shoes you are wearing most of the day. The orthotist will have given you guidance on shoes and heel heights. As time passes you will be able to move the FFO’s between shoes.

The ideal type of shoe

Strong and well supporting around the heel

Heel height similar to the heel height of the footwear the FFO was first put into

Laced top of shoe to hold foot within the shoe

Front of the shoe deep enough to accommodate the foot and the FFO comfortably


  • Your FFO can be cleaned with ordinary soap and water. Take care not to expose them to any extremes of heat or the shape and structure of the device will be damaged.
  • Anti Bacterial spray or wipes can be used.

Orthotic Department tel: 01582 497198.