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Shoes for diabetic patients are made of special protective inserts and soft shoe materials to accommodate for conditions such as neuropathy (numb feet), poor circulation, and foot deformities (bunions, hammertoes, etc.). The shoes decrease the chance of foot sores (ulcers) which can be caused by friction and pressure. This may lead to infection, gangrene, or even amputation.
The foot and ankle surgeon may measure the diabetic patient’s foot and have the shoes made at a specialty laboratory. In some cases he/she will give the patient a prescription to have the shoes custom-made.
Medicare and most insurance policies cover ONE PAIR of DIABETIC SHOES PER YEAR for prevention of diabetic complications such as ulceration and limb loss.
Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.
To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot, or leg, follow these guidelines.