A new year brings new goals, new resolutions, and new opportunities to live a healthier, happier life. For those who suffer from diabetes, it may bring something else—the chance to pick up a new pair of therapeutic diabetic shoes to help keep feet comfortable and safe from dangerous foot ulcers.
Medicare will pay 80% of the allowed amount for fitting and furnishing a new pair of custom-molded therapeutic shoes once each calendar year for qualified patients, and other private insurers may offer similar benefits (or help you cover the remaining 20%). If your old pair of diabetic shoes needs replacement, or you have a history of foot ulcers, neuropathy, poor circulation, or foot deformity, January is a great time to consider therapeutic shoes.
Diabetic shoes are strongly encouraged for our patients who struggle with sensation loss in their lower limbs, especially those who have a previous history with open sores or wounds on their feet. If your circulation has been impaired, it doesn’t take long for a small cut or blister to become a wound. If you have neuropathy, you might not detect it until significant damage has already occurred. In many cases, an untreated wound can even lead to partial or complete amputation of the foot in order to stop the spread of infection.
Diabetic shoes, simply put, save your feet from costly complications. They do this by providing a host of features that protect feet and address common diabetic foot challenges. This includes extra depth to accommodate custom inserts, firm heel counters and non-skid soles to increase stability, extra padding with few stitches to reduce the risk of skin breakdown and irritation, and more.
Our office performs fittings for both diabetic shoes and custom orthotics, and we partner with several different suppliers so that you can choose a pair that meets your medical needs and suits your own personal aesthetic style.
To qualify for the Medicare benefit, you must be participating in a comprehensive diabetes treatment plan and have either a history of foot ulcers or risk factors such as neuropathy. If you don’t currently have a comprehensive treatment plan, we’ll help you start one!When it comes to diabetes and feet, a small investment in preventative care can dramatically improve your long-term prognosis. It could save a limb, or even a life. Diabetic shoes are a major part of the prevention strategy for people who are most at risk, so if your insurance provider is offering you the opportunity to pick up a new pair, now is the time to act! Schedule an appointment with the Austin Foot Specialists today for an evaluation, fitting, and prescription. You can request a time online, or give us a call at (512) 328-8900.