Study Questions Necessity Of Diabetic Footwear

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By Brian McCurdy, Associate Editor

Podiatrists often turn to therapeutic footwear when trying to prevent re-ulceration in diabetic patients. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests regular shoes may work just as well for some of those patients, although some DPMs question the study.
The randomized study was comprised of 400 men and women who had diabetes and a history of foot ulcers. The first group of 121 patients wore extra-depth therapeutic shoes and customized cork inserts. The second group of 119 patients wore therapeutic shoes and prefabricated, polyurethane inserts. The control group of 160 patients wore their own shoes.
What were the results? After two years, researchers found similar re-ulceration rates in all of the groups: 15 percent in the first group; 14 percent in the second group; and 17 percent in the third group.

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