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diabetic shoes in your podiatry practice

In 2020 it was estimated that over 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, roughly 10% of the US population and that 88 million people over the age of 18 have prediabetes. Diabetes can cause many health complications including those affecting the lower extremities. The risks are high for diabetic patients. It is crucial that the medical community continues to raise awareness to diagnose and treat diabetics with medication, lifestyle changes and proper footcare.   

In 2017, the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care in Diabetes added the use of diabetic shoes as part of their footcare recommendations for at-risk diabetic patients. The recommendation currently states “The use of specialized therapeutic footwear is recommended for people with diabetes at high risk for ulceration, including those with loss of protective sensation, foot deformities, ulcers, callous formation, poor peripheral circulation, or history of amputation.”   

Diabetic Shoes offer protection for the diabetic foot, helping to prevent ulcers and calluses from forming, distributing weight away from pressure points and accommodating foot deformities. They provide:        

  • Extra depth to accommodate diabetic inserts 
  • Protective interiors with seamless stitching to prevent skin irritations       
  • Roomy toe boxes to protect toes and prevent injury     
  • Non-skid soles and rocker bottoms for stability and to prevent falls        
  • Thick, padded tongues and heel collars for extra comfort and to prevent heel slippage  
  • Construction with quality materials such as soft leather, mesh, and Lycra for breathability that can accommodate patients with swelling or deformities   
  • Multiple shoe widths to accommodate patient variety. 

A Diabetic Shoe Program in a podiatry practice can add significant value for patients and the practice. Podiatrists are the only professionals whom Medicare permits to order and dispense diabetic shoes to their own patients. Podiatrists are trained to spot troubled areas, including dry skin, calluses, cracks, too-long or sharp toenails, pre-blisters, hot spots, foot deformities; all which can lead to ulcers. And patients’ footwear matters! On average, over 80% of diabetics in any given podiatry practice qualify for diabetic shoes and inserts. The value of podiatrists who provide them every year to their at-risk diabetic patients, should not be underestimated.

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