Scaphoid Pad - instructions for use
At our last all hands staff meeting we were talking about arch cookies. An arch cookie is a small insert that is placed just under the arch of the foot. Arch cookies are used a lot in shoe stores and pedorthics practices to give just a little arch support without using a bulky partial or full length arch support. Use of an arch cookie gives support to the foot with decreased bulk in a shoe. So in cases like a loafer or boat shoe, and arch cookie fits very well. Arch cookies come in varying sizes so they can be used in both pediatric and adult shoes.
I always like how our conversations center around the experiences that our staff has working with customers. For instance, our conversations about arch cookies started with each sales person saying which of the arch cookies they liked best and why they've recommended the Pedag Step Arch Cookie or the Gel Arch Cookie. As we started to talk about the PPT Arch Cookie and the Reusable Gel Arch Pad, all of the staff said, "It's so flat. Why would you want to use either of those?" That's when they all learned about the use of a scaphoid pad.
The term scaphoid is an older term used to describe the navicular bone. The navicular is the bone in the top or central portion of the arch and is often called the keystone of the arch. A scaphoid pad is a pad that is used to support the scaphoid (navicular). Where would you want to use a scaphoid pad? In severe cases of pronation (flatfoot), the foot will actually roll over the medial edge of any insert that you place in the shoe. A scaphoid pad is placed directly on the medial wall of the shoe and an arch support is placed over the scaphoid pad. by doing so, the scaphoid pad essentially turns into an extension of the arch support. The scaphoid pad will also pad the medial wall of the shoe. Scaphoid pads can be used with or without a supplemental arch support or orthotic.
Another old shoe/orthotic trick that's often used to treat pronation is to extend the top cover of the orthotic beyond the medial edge of the orthotic so that it acts as a scaphoid pad. This can only be accomplished by a pedorthics shop or qualified shoe repair shop. So for all of us lay people, the scaphoid pad is a great way to accomplish the same effect. It'll pad the medial wall of the shoe and help support the arch.
So now the staff is all jazzed about how to use a scaphoid pad. It sure does help to sit and talk every week.
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM