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Wedged Insoles for the Arthritic Knee

Lanny L. Johnson, M.D.


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Information for the informed buyer US Patent 8,122,550

These wedged insoles have the potential of being a real benefit for the most common arthritic problem of the knee; those people with localized problem only on the inner side.

Patient with loss of cartilage on inner side of both knees and bowed legs

Standing x-ray of the left knee

The arthritic condition is often associated with a bowed leg on the same side due to loss of the cartilage between the bones. The x-ray as shown here has a narrowed inner joint space with bone on bone due to loss of the articular cartilage.

Knocked knee

Knocked Knees and isolated outer side arthritis: Dr. Lanny's insoles may also be helpful for those with isolated outer side knee compartment problems. A knocked knee appearance may accompany this condition as see in this photograph. If this is your situation, localized outer knee compartment arthritis with accompanying knocked knee then, skip down for the instructions.

**These wedged insoles are not indicated for those with patellar arthritis or diffuse arthritis of the knee.

FAQ's for Inner Side Arthritis of the knee

Will our wedged insoles work for you?

Yes, if you, the arthritic patient, meet the following important criteria.

Quick and Easy Self Evaluation: In the interest of your time and money, you can find out if these wedged insoles will work for you.

You will learn if you are a candidate to be helped in far less time than driving to the doctor's office and reading his/her magazines in the waiting room before being examined.

Before you buy, the following conditions are necessary for these wedged insoles to benefit you.

  1. You have arthritis in the inner side of your knee.
  2. You have ability to straighten your knee within a few degrees of straight.
  3. You have the ability to bend your knee past 90 degrees.
  4. Your knee joint plus foot and ankle are very pliable or in medical terms they have passive mobility as determined by the following tests.

Test #1: Making sure there is passive laxity of the inner knee ligament; the medial collateral ligament.

You sit in a chair with your knees bent to 90 degrees as shown below.

You then pull your knees together as shown below.

If you are able to pull your knees together so they touch as well as the ankles, you are ready to do the test.

You then straighten both legs while keeping the knees and ankles touching each other as shown below.

This person is sitting with knees extended, yet the knees and feet are touching each other.

If you were able to do this maneuver, you have met the first criteria for use of wedged insoles for inner knee conditions; pliable inner knee ligaments.

FAILURE: If you were unable to successfully compete this test, then repeating this exercise 3 times per day for a few days will loosen up the ligaments about your knee. When you are able to do this test successfully, you may be ready for use of the wedged insoles, providing you are able to accomplish Test #2.

Test #2: This is a simple test to establish if there is enough "play" or laxity in your foot and ankle to allow the wedged insole to shift forces from the floor and transmit the force up your shin bone to your knee.

In medical terms, this test is necessary to confirm the wedged insole with elevation on the lateral side would result in translation of the forces up the tibia (leg bone), thereby creating a valgus moment (inward movement of the knee) to the knee that has passive laxity (looseness) of the medial (inner) collateral knee ligament.

You are to assume the sitting position and cross your legs while maintaining your feet flat on the floor as shown below.

If you are able to do this and Test #1 you have confirmed the indications are in place for you to benefit from the use of our dynamic wedged insole in your shoe with the high side under the outer part of your foot.

Let us review: Our insoles will work for your arthritic knee if your arthritis is localized to just the inner or outer side. If your arthritis is in all areas of your knee or you cannot straighten or bend your knee very well you should see a physician to evaluate your options.

In order to learn if our wedged insoles will help your arthritic knee, you need to have a flexible foot and ankle as well as some pliability of your knee as explained above.

Golfers with knee problems are referred to for more information.

Controversy: There is a controversy concerning the benefit of wedged insoles in the medical literature. Some reports say they work and others say they do not. A careful review of these publications did not reveal a consideration of the important factors of compliance of the patient's foot and ankle or passive laxity of the knee that we have just explained. Since these factors were not considered or included in any study, it is not surprising that the results were mixed. Even Bennell's, et al, excellent study did not consider these critical factors for success and therefore did not find a positive result.

Insole Design Choices

There are presently three designs. Each with instructions for personalized fitting.

Neutral Balanced Insole: One of these will accompany the package for those with one side arthritis. They will be used in the non affected side to provide some height for those wearing a wedged insole on the other side. They provide a platform of similar height in the shoes as the other shoe's wedged insole. The Neutral Balanced Insoles are made of Poron® the best cushioning material available for insoles. They are uniform depth front to back and side to side. One of the following will be in the one sided arthritis kit.

For those looking for comfort insoles for sore feet, a package of two Neutral Balance insoles of Poron® are offered for sale here.

2.5 Degree Wedged Cushioned Insole: These are intended for those with a known knee problem on one side of the knee joint or the other. These are wedged shaped from inner to outer side. The elevated portion of the wedge is placed lateral for those with isolated medial problems and visa versa for those with lateral knee compartment problems. They are not intended for diffuse arthritis or patellofemoral problems of the knee. When properly placed, they have been shown to significantly decrease the loads on one compartment of the knee or the other even up to 50%. These are effective for reducing the loads on the inner side of the knee during the golf swing.

5 Degree Wedged Cushioned Insole: These are intended for heavier people or those doing activities that produce high loads on the knee; sportsmen and laborers. The depth of the elevated portion of the wedge is higher than the 2.5 degree insole. When properly placed, they have been shown to significantly decrease the loads on one compartment of the knee or the other.

Important information for Competitive Golfers; USGA Ruling: As of March 31, 2009, the use of these 2.5 or 5.0 degree sloped cushion wedged insoles are included on the List of Equipment Permitted Conditionally for Medical Reasons. They are "Permissible when the local committee authorizes its use under the List of Equipment Permitted Conditionally for Medical Reasons and/or Exception 1 to Rule 14-3."

These patent pending wedged insole designs come in a universal form ready for personalized custom fitting in the comfort of your home.

Benefits are:

  • Made from professional grade material, not cheap sponge rubber.
  • Not available in stores. If it were:
    • Better value than the best that the drug store or supermarket has to offer.
    • You avoid buying the wrong size at the store.
    • You avoid the hassle of the not quite right, almost fits, cramps my toes, etc.
  • Personalized fitting in convenience of your own home.
    • Only you know the shape of your foot.
    • Only you know the shoe that you plan to put it in.
    • Only you know what is comfortable.
Best Material
Best Fit
Best Value

Knee Package #1: This is the starter kit for a person with one knee having arthritis or problem isolated to the inner or outer compartment of the knee. It has one 2.5 degree (blue color) Wedged Cushioned Insole form for the affected side and one Neutral Balanced Insole form (for the unaffected knee side). These are a proprietary design and material. Proven function by independent testing to reduce peak axial force across the inner or outer knee compartment with proper placement.

Knee Package #2: This is for the typical person with bilateral isolated inner or outer compartment of the knee issues. It contains two 2.5 degree (blue color) Wedged Cushioned Insole forms. This package may also be purchased for fitting other shoes or replacement. Proven function by independent testing to reduce the peak axial force across the inner or outer knee compartment with proper placement.

Knee Package #3: This is for the larger person or those workers or sportsmen who are very active and have bilateral involvement localized to inner or outer compartment of the knee. This package has two 5 degree (green color) Wedged Cushioned Insole forms. This package may also be purchased for fitting other shoes or replacement. It may be purchased with the "Neutral Balanced" insoles to fit the affected side shoes with the wedged insole of choice #2 or this one (#3) for affected side and the "Neutral Balance" for the unaffected side. Proven function by independent testing to reduce the peak axial force across the inner or outer knee compartment with proper placement.

Specifications of Contents: Each package has the indicated insole contents. The insoles are 14 inches long, 4 1/4 inches wide and have a minimum depth of 1/8 inch. The material is Poron® for Neutral Balance or Polyvinylacetate (PVA) of selected density for the wedged insoles. All packages are labeled, color coded, with enclosed patterns for left and right foot. This web site has the ILLUSTRATED INSTRUCTIONS for fitting to your foot and your shoes.

Outer Side Localized Knee Compartment Arthritis

Those patients with outer side arthritis will need to confirm similar criteria as those with inner side problems. Your knee joint must be flexible. You should sit in a chair with both knees and ankles together as shown below.

This may not be possible at first due to the tight lateral side ligament of your knee. If not possible, then assume the same position with the knees together and use a belt to gradually pull your ankles together. This may be done 3X a day until you stretch the outer knee ligaments. Do not try to do this all at once. Do not cause any pain in your knee with the tightening, just do it gradually over time.

When you are able to have the knees and ankles together in the sitting position then straighten your knees. If the outer knee ligaments are now stretched you will be able to hold your knee and ankles together as shown below.

Now that the outer knee ligaments are compliant, you need to make sure that there is the necessary flexibility of your foot and ankle.

This flexibility is established by sitting in a chair, keeping your knees together and moving your foot to the side, all the while keeping the foot flat on the floor as shown below.

This position confirms that the outer side of your foot and ankle is flexible enough to respond to the wedged insole with the higher side under the inner side of your foot.

You are now ready to consider use of the wedged insole for outer knee compartment arthritis.


Caution: Not intended for individuals with severe foot or ankle problems. Not intended for those with diabetic or neurological problems. Not intended for those with severe foot deformities or those who suffer from circulatory diseases that result in infections or ulcerations on the bottom of the feet. Not intended for neurological problems or for purposes other than stated.

Easy to fit to your shoe

Insole Fitting Instructions



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90 Day Money Back Guarantee

In the unlikely event that you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return the product UNALTERED IN THE ORIGINAL PACKAGE for a full refund less shipping costs.

Product Return Procedure

To return a product and obtain a refund, use the Contact Us page to obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. This request must include your order number and must be submitted within 90 days of purchase date.

Your RMA number must be displayed on the shipping label of boxes containing the returned product.

You are solely responsible for shipping any returned product. COD shipments will not be accepted.

Refunds will be issued after returned product is received and the UNALTERED CONDITION confirmed. Shipping charges will not be refunded.

References — Wedge Insoles in Knee Joint Arthritis

Bennell KL, Bowles KA, Payne C, Cicuttini F, Williamson E, Forbes A, Hanna F, Davies-Tuck M, Harris A, Hinman RS. Lateral wedge insoles for medial knee osteoarthritis: 12 month randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2011 May 18;342:d2912.

Maillefert JF, Hudry C, Baron G, Kieffert P, Bourgeois P, Lechevalier D, Coutaux A, Dougados M. Laterally elevated wedged insoles in the treatment of medial knee osteoarthritis: a prospective randomized controlled study. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2001 Nov;9(8):738-45.

Fang MA, Taylor CE, Nouvong A, Masih S, Kao KC, Perell KL. Effects of footwear on medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. J Rehab Res Dev. 2006.43(4);427-434.

Perhaps the most convincing evidence of the dynamic benefit of a lateral wedge in patients with medial arthritis was the statement by Kerrigan, et al., "These data imply that wedged insoles are biomechanically effective and should reduce loading of the medial compartment in persons with medial knee osteoarthritis."

Kerrigan DC, Lelas JL, Goggins J, Merriman GJ, Kaplan RJ, Felson DT. Effectiveness of a lateral-wedge insole on knee varus torque in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Jul;83(7):889-93.

The Federal Government NIH is also interested in this type of treatment method and has funded research in this area.

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