A new study from Sweden finds that proper interventions such as diabetic shoes, inserts, podiatry, and regular checkups can reduce the number of amputations by more than 50% in patients with diabetes. These are the findings, and some steps people with diabetes can take to protect their feet.
According to an article from News-Medical.net, researchers at the University of Gothenburg studied more than 114 Swedish patients with diabetes who were considered at risk for developing ulcers. These wounds typically occur when the foot is overloaded, and they may lead to amputation. The study involved three different types of shoes inserts, all of which were found to be effective in reducing pressure and cutting the risk of ulcers by more than 50%.
Overall, the lifetime risk of developing a foot ulcer is close to 25% for people with diabetes. It is recommended that all patients with diabetes have their feet evaluated by a Linden podiatrist at least once a year. If abnormalities such as bunions or hammertoes are discovered, your foot doctor may recommend more frequent examinations. Self-exams are also important. Checking your feet each day for injuries or abnormalities can help prevent more serious problems. In addition to medical treatments, lifestyle changes such as shoe inserts may be helpful.
If your diabetes is well managed, you may be able to wear conventional shoes. In other cases, your podiatrist may suggest comfort shoes or footwear specifically designed for people with diabetes. These styles are called “depth shoes” because they have extra room built in for inserts that redistribute pressure on the foot to help prevent ulcers. In the most serious cases, custom shoes can also be made to fit a mold of your feet.
Regular foot evaluations by a podiatrist, self-examinations, and proper footwear are an essential part of managing diabetes and reducing the risk of amputations. Contact our Linden foot clinic for more information about diabetic foot care.