Study Questions Necessity Of Diabetic Footwear

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Leading DPM Named To American Diabetes Association Board Of Directors

Congratulations go out to David G. Armstrong, DPM, who has been elected to the National Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Dr. Armstrong, the Director of Research and Education within the Department of Surgery/Podiatry Section at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Center, considers himself “extremely lucky” to be included on a board that “ … in many ways, already appreciates what we do.”

Dr. Armstrong considers the appointment of a podiatrist to be of “enormous significance” that provides “a platform and amplifier through which one’s perspectives can be heard across a vast expanse… especially the recipients of our medical care.”

He credits the important work of past podiatric members such as Lee Sanders, DPM (past ADA President of Healthcare and Education), Lawrence Harkless, DPM (past board member) and Robert Frykberg, DPM, (past ADA Foot Care Council Chair) along with innumerable others. Dr. Armstrong notes has “no excuses but to do my best. To do any less in this regard would be to dishonor those who came before me and my profession.”

In terms of Dr. Armstrong’s overall and individual goals, he intends to work with fellow board members toward a cure of diabetes mellitus. A prolific author and frequent lecturer, Dr. Armstrong also recently received a research grant to study the combination of infrared thermometry and activity monitoring.

He will serve on the ADA Board until 2005. Once his term has expired, he will have the opportunity to move on to the ADA’s executive committee.

A new randomized study questions the widespread prescription of therapeutic shoes for those with diabetic ulcers, but some DPMs dispute that assertion.

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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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