The Diabetic Foot : Pedorthic Treatment
Diabetes is a growing concern in today’s society.
With the diabetic foot, the number one concern is neuropathy which leads to lack of circulation to the foot. The lack of circulation to the foot leads to impaired wound healing, risk of infection which leads to ulcers.
Two common conditions of the diabetic foot are:
1: Vascular Impairment which is occlusion ( blockage or closing of blood vessels), this can cause an increase in infection, gangrene and delayed wound healing.
2: Peripheral neuropathy leads to lack of sensation to the foot and the foot feels warm to touch. When a person has this condition there is a lack of feeling in the foot which can lead to an increase of ulcers from untreated cuts as the individual cannot feel a sharp object when standing on it.
- A large percentage of lower limb amputations are the result of infections from sores, cuts not being treated which can lead to gangrene.
The Diabetic Foot: Helpful Shoe Purchasing Tips
- Avoid shoes that have seams and overlapping of material in the toe box as seams can lead to rubbing and chaffing to the foot causing irritation to the foot .
- Try to buy leather shoes that are seamless in the toe box , and if possible leather lined as well.
- Leather shoes can also be stretched in certain areas if needed for more room.
- Since the diabetic foot can lack sensation and feel, balance can be a problem so look for shoes that have a wide base of support. A rocker type of sole which is similar to a running shoe can take pressure away from the fore foot / toes when walking.
- Laces are a great choice for closure to prevent movement of the foot in the shoe.
- Velcro is another option for securing the shoe to the foot, and is helpful if the person has trouble with laces as it is easier on the hands to adjust.
- Avoid slip on shoes as there is too much back and forth movement in the shoe resulting in irritation to the foot.
- Removable insoles are needed as they can be removed to allow room for a foot orthotic if needed.
Custom casted foot orthotics are a great tool to help off load high pressure points of the foot. The right designed foot orthotic is an important part of treatment for the diabetic foot. Certain materials should be used when fabricating foot orthotics, generally softer types of materials are best for the design. The orthotic should be full length to replace the current removable insole from the shoe.
For more information on the Diabetic foot and treatment please contact Dean Woodcock , Canadian Certified Pedorthist. C. Ped (c) at the Orthopedic Sports Institute in Collingwood for a free consultation to discuss your foot concerns.