Good ulcer management reduces amputation caused by diabetes

Amputations caused by diabetic complications can be reduced by at least 50%with the use of proper shoe inserts, podiatry care and regular health checkups, according to a study that will be presented at the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics World Congress in Hyderabad, India from Feb. 4-7.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden, included 114 patients with diabetes who were at risk for developing ulcers. Each participant wore one of three shoe insoles and was monitored over a 2-year period. The researchers found that only 0.9% of the participants developed a new ulcer during the first year.

“We found that good shoes and inserts can reduce pressure on the foot by 50% compared with going barefoot,” Ulla Tang, a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg, stated in a news release. “Our conclusion at the end of 1 year is that all three types of inserts effectively distribute pressure under the sole in order to minimize the risk of ulcers.”

The researchers also found that only 67% of participants were offered podiatry services, despite the fact that 83% already had calluses.

“Ulcer prevention is not only a way of relieving suffering but a sound financial investment,” Tang stated in the release.

The researchers will also be introducing a digital tool that can be used for the prescription of appropriate footwear and insoles and assist with assessing foot ulcers at the World Congress.

Disclosures: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.

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