For people with foot problems, the consequences can range from minor pain to severe complications. Specialized care, including custom orthopedic shoes and orthotics, can keep these ailments under control.
The skin sores known as foot ulcers are a serious risk to people with diabetes. If left untreated, amputation may be needed. Bunions are another problem which can progress from mildly painful to causing complications such as bursitis, metatarsalgia, and hammertoe.
Many foot problems are treated non-surgically.
Narrow or high-heeled shoes have been blamed for either causing or at least aggravating bunions and foot ulcers. Issues like interior seaming or lack of support can also aggravate conditions. Custom orthopedic shoes are part of a conservative protocol for relieving these foot problems.
The peripheral neuropathy that commonly accompanies diabetes often prevents patients from feeling the foot irritations that lead to serious foot ulcers. Along with numbness in the extremities, diabetes creates poor circulation that can slow healing. Custom orthopedic shoes for diabetes provide better air circulation. They’re also constructed from softer fabric, and omit interior seams, in order to prevent the kind of foot irritation that leads to infected calluses and foot ulcers.
For bunions, the main goals are both to provide enough room for the bony protrusions, and to prevent bunions from becoming swollen and painful. Custom orthopedic shoes for bunions allow for plenty of toe room. A rounded shape in the toe area, as well as flexible fabric, is ideal. Arch support and lower heels also ensure that the toes aren’t taking on the brunt of each footfall.
Instead of buying over-the-counter shoe inserts for generalized support, it’s best to wear shoe orthotics customized to your condition and to your foot shape and size.
Shoe inserts for bunions provide cushioning and separation to help prevent calluses, corns, and hammertoe. They also give extra arch support to keep pressure off the toe area.
Shoe orthotics for foot ulcers work on the same principle. Areas on your feet which are prone to irritation are given special cushioning. If extra support is needed, the orthotics can be customized for this requirement, as well.
Surgical Treatment and Post Operative Shoes
Serious cases of foot ulcers and bunions call for surgical intervention.
Common bunion operations remove or realign bones, fuse bones together, or remove inflamed tissue. Foot ulcer surgery can also involve removing part of a bone or treating infected tissue.
After surgery, preventing recurrence of your foot ailment continues to be a concern. For that reason, your doctor will recommend post operative shoes. This special footwear and/or shoe orthotics are designed to decrease the risk of problems such as infections. They also support you as your bones heal after surgery.
If your Arkansas medical team recommends specialized footwear, the team at Horton’s can help. We specialize in shoe orthotics, customized orthopedic shoes and post-operative shoes for patients throughout the Arkansas area.
Call our friendly staff today at Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetic to come in for a consultation and fitting.