NORTHVALE, N.J., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A study from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, reinforces the long-term benefits of shoe inserts in significantly reducing diabetes-related amputations. According to experts at Orthofeet, a leading designer and manufacturer of therapeutic footwear, the findings are the latest in a series of international studies that validate the importance of proper footwear for adults with diabetes.
In the Swedish study, the use of shoe inserts, podiatry, education and regular check-ups were shown to help patients avoid foot ulcers, reducing diabetes-related amputations by 50 percent.
"Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations and the majority of those amputations are preceded by diabetic foot ulceration," said Dennis Janisse, C.Ped., Director of Scientific Affairs at Orthofeet. "This study reinforces the value of simple interventions such as shoe inserts to avoid foot ulcerations, helping to provide optimal foot health and mobility for that patient."
Ulla Hellstrand Tang, CPO with the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, presented the study earlier this month – barefoot – at the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) World Congress in Hyderabad, India. Her team has been studying diabetic foot complications since 2008, focusing on protecting the foot from overloading the foot sole to minimize irritation and risk of ulcers.
"Our research found that therapeutic shoes and inserts reduce pressure on the foot by 50 percent compared with going barefoot," said Ms. Tang. "By effectively distributing pressure under the sole, the inserts minimize the risk of ulcers and ultimately work to prevent amputations."
Mr. Janisse, one of nearly 2,000 attendees from 85 countries at the ISPO World Congress, believes the new research is evidence of an international momentum for studying foot health within the diabetic community. "The incidence of diabetes is escalating worldwide, and we commend the efforts of researchers who are dedicated to raising awareness of preventative foot care measures for patients who are highly vulnerable to serious medical foot conditions."
Researchers studied 114 Swedish patients with diabetes and at risk of developing foot ulcers, an average of 58 years old. The patients wore one of three different types of shoe inserts over a period of two years. Only 0.9% of the participants developed new foot ulcers during the first year versus an industry average of 3-8% reported in similar diabetic populations.
For more information on the latest in research related to foot care for adults with diabetes, visit the News section at http://www.orthofeet.com/news.php.
Orthofeet develops and manufactures a premium brand of specialty footwear biomechanically designed to provide consumers with ultimate mobility, comfort and protection for an improved quality of life. The company was established in 1985 by the Bar brothers, two biomedical engineers who pioneered innovations in footwear construction unmatched in the industry. In order to maintain its high level of quality and service, Orthofeet owns its production facilities. Orthofeet partners with medical professionals and DME providers throughout the US to provide patients with a great selection of therapeutic shoes, insoles and socks. Consumers can also buy Orthofeet shoes directly online. For more information visit www.orthofeet.com