Therapeutic footwear helps protect the diabetic foot

MJ Mueller Program of Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.

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There is evidence to indicate that therapeutic footwear can help prevent lower extremity amputation in patients with diabetes. The primary means of preventing amputation is to protect the insensitive foot from unnoticed trauma and excessive plantar pressures that occur during walking. The specific prescription of the shoe will depend on many foot risk criteria, but particularly on the patient's level of sensation, history of ulceration, and the amount of foot deformity. This article describes the type of footwear recommended for each of these increasing levels of foot risk categories.