Definition Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, 25% develop foot problems related to the disease. Deterioration in balance and loss of protective sensation in lower extremities contribute significantly to fall risk in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). But over the last few years the medical system has been correctly diagnosing neuropathy in the general population. This circulation often slows in the lower legs and feet causing dry skin, slow healing, and swelling. The condition of diabetes can quickly become complicated if the diabetic patient is unable to manage his or her blood sugar. For instance, just touching the skin or putting a sheet over your feet in bed could be painful. Neuropathy describes the pathological changes of the peripheral nerves, common to the lower extremities.
If your doctor has recommended that you purchase therapeutic shoes and inserts as part of your diabetes care plan, please make sure that the proper notes and documentation have been added to your file: Poor circulation, Peripheral neuropathy, Evidence of callousing, Ulceration, Amputation or Foot Deformity. Of those, 14-24% will be at risk of losing a lower limb or foot through amputation. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. A study with a larger sample is required to explore the effect of prescribed footwear in the DPN population in order to validate the findings of this research study. If a person has non-diabetic, non-chemo induced, general neuropathy, there is a ten-day cycle for the circulatory system to recalibrate at the level of the foot once the correct footwear is worn. Medicare has started assisting with footwear and molded orthosis as part of their preventative care plan for diabetics. Diabetic neuropathy treatments now consist of proper foot care and proper foot wear.
The nerves to the muscles become affected by the disease process. Aggressive intervention from qualified physicians is important to save the foot and limb. Some insurance companies may require preauthorization before we can dispense the shoes and/or inserts so you may need to set up a followup appointment to get your shoes. DON’T RISK LOSING YOUR FEET DUE TO POORLY SELECTED OR INCORRECTLY FITTED SHOES! Plastazote is a material designed to accommodate pressure ‘hot spots’ by conforming to heat and pressure. A heavy piece of nylon thread is used to touch 5 specific places on the bottom of each foot. Should a loss of sensation be found, contact your physician immediately.
Approximately 2 million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes (about one out of every eighteen), and that number is growing. About 65% of people with diabetes have a mild to severe form of nerve damage (called peripheral neuropathy) that can deprive them of their protective sensation in their feet. Bacterial and fungal infection could be more likely; an additional source of pain and concern. Pedorthists are the shoe fitting experts of the medical field. These non-healing abrasions become ulcers, which can get infected or gangrenous. If the infections go unchecked, the limb will have to be amputated. Statistics show that 30% of diabetics that lose one limb from amputation will lose the other limb within three years.
Sixty percent of people with diabetes will die within five years of their first lower limb amputation. People with diabetes usually require foot orthoses to balance and protect the foot and to unload and alleviate diabetic foot problems. The diabetic foot is the hardest foot to manage because it has all of the biomechanical challenges that non-diabetic feet have, coupled with the soft tissue challenges related to diabetes. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are specifically trained to manage diabetic feet and to help in the healing of current ulcers and the prevention of future ulcers. Blood flow to the feet could then be partially or totally blocked. The majority of ulcers begin as a callus. Your Pedorthist will explain the construction and performance expectations of your shoes, inserts, or foot orthoses.
Remember that all inserts and orthoses work as a unit with the shoes you are wearing. If your shoes are improper or fit incorrectly, the orthoses can even cause harm rather than alleviate it. Make sure you check your feet, shoes, and insoles/orthoses regularly. Revisit your Canadian Certified Pedorthist for a check-up within one week of purchasing any new footwear from Stride. Remember to revisit your Canadian Certified Pedorthist for a check-up at least every three months.