About our department

Our biomechanics service which is available nationally, uses a CAD CAM (computer aided design computer aided manufacture) foot orthotic system to create bespoke foot orthoses for patients with a range of walking and running related biomechanical conditions. 

This service is only available free of charge in Tameside and Glossop and on a fee-paying basis for non-Tameside and Glossop residents.

The cutting-edge technology, which is used by the US military, generates a three dimensional image of the contours of each foot. The images can then be digitally altered to meet individual needs before they are transmitted electronically to the 3D CAD CAM mill, which grinds the orthoses within just 30 minutes.

Our biomechanics service is located at Ashton Primary Care Centre in Greater Manchester. Patients can be referred from anywhere in the country. If distance is restrictive, plaster of Paris or foam impression boxes can be posted. The CAD CAM technology works with traditional methods of casting feet by scanning moulds into the system using the UK’s first  AMFIT Impress Scanner. This allows a faster turnaround time than normal.

The service was runner-up in the NHS North West Health and Social Care Awards for its outstanding biomechanics services.

We can provide a fast, comprehensive service where a range of conditions can be explored and catered for. The benefits are far reaching, from helping patients to get back on their feet more quickly to having a dramatic impact on referral waiting times and a reduced need for return appointments. Patients from across the country can be referred to the centre. It is also possible for patients living outside the area to use many aspects of the technology. Patients can self refer to the service by contacting us at Ashton Primary Care Centre.

We offer the service on a private basis to patients living outside our immediate catchment area. 

CAD CAM foot orthoses can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including: 

  • Ankle problems
  • Flat feet
  • Diabetic foot problems
  • Forefoot problems
  • Heel pain
  • High-arched feet
  • Hip pain
  • Illiotibial band friction syndrome
  • Joint pain
  • Knee pain
  • Leg length difference
  • Lumbar spine pain
  • Overuse injuries
  • Midfoot pain
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Poor posture
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Shin splints
  • Sports injuries
  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Ulcer prevention and treatment

The benefits include:  

  • Aesthetically pleasing orthoses
  • Alterations made electronically – no need for plaster of Paris bandage
  • Available from shoe size 4 to 16
  • Collaborative approach with physiotherapy generates comprehensive results
  • Delivers long-term value
  • Foot orthoses are produced on a ‘just in time’ basis
  • Improved access benefits high risk foot complaints
  • Prior to the introduction of the CAD CAM system, 36% of our patients waited more than 12 weeks after their initial appointment to be seen by a biomechanist - this figure has now been reduced to 1.5%
  • Reduced need for return appointments
  • Repeatable results for different footwear
  • Significantly reduced patient waiting lists
  • Unique one-stop shop when combined with motion and force plate analysis

Where we are