New shoe insole technology to reduce diabetic foot ulcer risk

New Delhi, April 20 : Diabetic foot ulcers — a dangerous open sore that can lead to hospitalisation and leg, foot, or toe amputations — can now be reduced using a new shoe insole technology, said researchers.

Nearly one in three people with diabetes develop foot ulcers during their lifetime. Foot ulcers happen because diabetes over time causes low blood supply to the nerves and feet, leading to poor circulation and foot sores.

While several shoe insoles have been created over the years to try to alleviate the problem of foot ulcers, the new technology focuses on creating a pressure-alternating shoe insole.

The new technology “works by cyclically relieving pressure from different areas of the foot, thereby providing periods of rest to the soft tissues and improving blood flow. This approach aims to maintain the health of the skin and tissues, thereby reducing the risk of diabetic foot ulcers,” said Muthu B J Wijesundara, principal research scientist at The University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, US.

Muthu noted that the innovative insole technology addresses the skin and soft tissue breakdown in diabetic patients that occurs due to repetitive stress on the foot during walking.

Because the problem of foot ulcers is so large, “it’s exciting that we may be able to make a real difference in the lives of so many people,” he noted in an article in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds.

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