Diabetics are all too familiar with the threat of amputation. Many people living with diabetes experience decreased sensation and restricted blood flow in their feet because of nerve disease and PAD or peripheral arterial disease. These two issues combine to cause ulcers and infections that may lead to amputations. According to the American Diabetic Association and The American Journal of Managed Care, 60 percent of lower-leg amputations in people aged 20 or older are directly because of diabetes. Every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes, and 230 diabetics suffer an amputation each day.
But the good news is that amputations are preventable by regular visits to a podiatrist, preventive care, and most importantly, proper footwear. We touched on the importance of replacing diabetic shoes in an earlier post, but in this post we will delve a little deeper into the subject of diabetic shoes.
Why Diabetic Shoes?
Although many people may not realize, there are specialized shoes for everything. Weightlifters don’t wear shoes made for joggers; runners don’t wear basketball shoes; and baseball players don’t wear tennis shoes. Shoes are specialized for people and activities. Diabetic shoes are no different. Diabetic shoes are specifically designed to protect the feet against forces that can cause breakdown in the skin and develop into dangerous sores and ulcers. If you have diabetes and don’t use diabetic shoes , you should consult our doctor about diabetic shoes immediately about your options.
The risks of wounds to the foot in a diabetic patient are particularly high because poor circulation and neuropathy reduce the nerves’ ability to heal and sense damage to the feet at all, which means that problems are not felt and therefore not addressed. So, sores can grow into wounds and ulcers without someone even realizing it. These wounds in turn can grow infected and lead to dangerous, life-threatening conditions, including amputation.
A proper diabetic shoe provides comfort, but more importantly, protection. Diabetic shoes keep ulcers from forming and prevent foot strains and calluses. The interior is made from soft seam-less materials with no stitching as to prevent irritation caused by materials rubbing against the foot as you move. Diabetic shoe provides a spacious toe-box to offer extra room for the toes—especially important when considering deformities such as bunions or hammertoes. They also often have extra depth to accommodate custom orthotic inserts, providing even greater support and distribution of weight away from pressure points. If you are diabetic, make an appointment at one of our four convenient locations for a consultation. Our doctors can determine whether you need diabetic shoes or insoles and fit you for the proper footwear. What else makes diabetic shoes so special?
- Extra deep to make room for diabetic insoles or orthotics.
- A firm heel counter to provide medial and lateral rearfoot stability
- Padded collar around the ankle.
- A thick and padded tongue to help secure the back of the foot.
- A protective toe box that keeps toes from being hurt when stubbed.
- A non-skid sole to prevent falls.
- Specially fitted for your foot.
- Equipped with a special multi-density diabetic insole that
prevents sheering (back and forth movement).
In some cases, a doctor may determine that you can get diabetic insoles or socks to help support your feet and provide proper blood flow. Or, a doctor may decide that you may need to do some combination of diabetic insoles, shoes, and socks. Always consult a doctor before buying any diabetic footwear to ensure you get the best option for you and your feet.
At Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J, we have a wide selection of footwear for diabetic patients and we will gladly work with you to find the option that best fits your needs. Call us to talk to our doctors about your options. By getting diabetic patients to wear the proper shoes, we significantly reduce the risk of foot amputations. Diabetic patients should not underestimate the importance of diabetic shoes and proper footwear. Along with monitoring blood sugar level and eating healthy, diabetic shoes can help maintain healthy feet and stave off of amputations.