Paragon Orthotic Laboratory | Digital Orthosis Compound
Hand crafting quality prescription orthoses for over thirty five years.

Digital Orthosis Compound

docDigital Orthosis Compound (DOC) and its uses

This compound is indispensable in fabricating a digital orthosis to prevent further acquired forefoot deformity and to return function of the forefoot when used with a prescription podiatric orthotic. This compound is superior to other silicone-based products because of the dependability of the setting time. Setting time is critical to obtaining a comfortable device.

There are also other uses for this compound. DOC™ allows you to quickly mold a wide variety of custom-formed digital devices.


  • Preventing acquired forefoot deformity (hammer toes, bunions, etc.). Prevention of further deformity and actual straightening of the lesser digits can be obtained when used with a prescription podiatric orthotic as well as return of the function of the forefoot.
  • Protective orthosis for rigid fixed deformities when surgery is not feasible.
  • Post-operative immobilization devices. DOC™ is molded directly onto the area and cures to a permanent form in minutes. Firm but yielding, soft yet durable, and similar in appearance, touch and resiliency to that of natural rubber.

Device Fabrication

Estimate the amount of material needed. Mold the material into a circular flat mass. Always use the minimal amount to just fill the space. Most mistakes are made by using too much compound.

Squeeze the appropriate amount of Curing Agent into the centre of the mass. The approximate ratio of Curing Agent to mass is as follows:

 DOC Base Material (Grams)
 Curing Agent (Length of Bead)
 1.0 cm
1.5 cm
2.0 cm


device1 device2 device4 device3

Practice will make this step simpler. Too much Curing Agent makes the compound set too soon. Too little increases the curing time and makes for a softer device. (The average digital orthosis, as shown in the photos, takes about 15 grams of material to 1.5 cm of Curing Agent.) Mix and gently fold material over the Curing Agent. Repeat folding and kneading until a uniform colour is seen. The material will begin to harden slightly (in 30–45 seconds).


Device Variations


Hyperkeratotic Lesion Sub-1st Metatarsal or Medial Planter aspect of Hallux

Add small amount of material to the plantar aspect of the hallux. This creates a “lever” which relieves pressure on the area.


Heloma Durum Proximal Interphalangeal

(Joints 2 through 5)
Add material to dorsal proximal area of the toe to keep the shoe away from the site.


Splint (Post-Operative)

Hallux Adducto Valgus


Digital Orthosis – Fabrication

fabrication1This device pictured below is representative of the shape of a digital orthosis designed to prevent acquired deformity and to return function when used with podiatric prescription orthotics. In general the object is to minimally fill available space between the first, second and third toes. Most devices work best if they stop at the third interspace; this allows the forefoot to dorsiflex properly during the propulsive phase of the gait cycle.

1) Wearing vinyl gloves, shape the material into its required final form (latex gloves will stick to the compound, most other gloves such as vinyl will not). Position the material to the foot and shape into final form. Molding should be completed within 15–30 seconds after mixing.Material is placed between the first interspace and under all the lesser toes with a small amount of material between the 4th interspace. (The material in the 4th interspace is sometimes omitted, especially for women who have an HD fifth and wear dress shoes.)

2) To ensure comfort at this stage, have the patient stand with their shoe on. Use a knee-high stocking to cover the foot and the device with the orthotic in place. This stocking can be used repeatedly. (Saran Wrap can be used instead of a stocking; this slightly increases the setting time.) Once the patient is standing, molding will be complete within one minute (actual curing will be a while longer).



  • Mix enough material so that a small amount can be retained to determine when the appliance is properly cured.
  • Use a minimum amount of material. Too much causes pressure points.
  • Ask the patient how it feels. If they complain that it’s too thick, either grind down plantar surface, or remake with less material.
  • Invoice the patient sufficiently to allow for possible remakes. (Some patients may need several fabrications before the right appliance is achieved.)
  • The orthosis should cure in place for at least 6 minutes.
  • Wait 8 minutes before cutting or trimming.
  • Wait 15 minutes before grinding. (Smoothest grinding is obtained when the orthosis is moistened with water.)
  • Adding material at a later time is possible if you “rough up” area to be added to.
  • Advise patient that the appliance may be temporarily uncomfortable (a few days).
  • If the device is still uncomfortable, they should return for an adjustment or remake.
  • If the patient complains of pain due to the 5th toe pressing into the shoe, remove the material between the 4th interspace using scissors.