Diabetes often leads to peripheral vascular disease which inhibits a person’s blood circulation. With this condition, there is a narrowing of the arteries that frequently leads to significantly decreased circulation in the lower part of the legs and the feet. Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients supplied to the skin and other tissue, therefore causing injuries to heal poorly. Poor circulation can also lead to swelling and dryness of the foot. Preventing foot complications is more critical for the diabetic patient since poor circulation impairs the healing process, and can lead to ulcers, infection, and other serious foot conditions.
Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, and Charcot Feet.
Treatment and Prevention of the Diabetic Foot
Footwear and orthotics play an important role in diabetic footcare. Orthotics designed with Plastazote foam, the #1 material for protecting the insensitive diabetic foot, are usually recommended. Plastazote is a material designed to accommodate pressure “hot spots” by conforming to heat and pressure, thus providing a more uniform weight bearing surface. Diabetic Footwear should also provide the following protective benefits:
- High, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
- Removable insoles for fitting flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary.
- Rocker Soles: These soles are designed to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain, most notably the ball-of-the-foot.
Firm Heel Counters for support and stability.
If you are a diabetic, you should be particularly alert to any problems you may be having with your feet. It is very important for diabetics with neuropathy to take necessary precautions to prevent injury and keep their feet healthy. If you have diabetes and are experiencing a foot problem, immediately consult with your foot doctor.
Prescription Diabetic Shoes and Medicare Eligibility
Prescription diabetic footwear can help prevent more serious foot health complications that can arise as a result of diabetes. Medicare and supplemental insurance may cover the cost of diabetic shoes and prescription inserts for diabetics who meet certain general criteria. Generally, we can provide these products to you at no cost if Medicare is your primary insurance and you have no open ulcers or amputations on your feet. Please contact directly to find out if you are eligible.