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All posts by Dr. Daniel Walters

Why You Need Diabetic Shoes

We’ve previously discussed the importance of seeing a podiatrist if you have diabetes. In the post, we discussed how the lower limbs can be affected by the disease – including the potential for limb amputation when protective measures aren’t taken. We also identified proactive diabetic foot care as being better than reactive treatment. Well, one proactive measure you should consider to keep your feet safe is wearing diabetic shoes.

So what are diabetic shoes? There are several features that help distinguish diabetic footwear from “normal” kinds. To start, shoes for those living with diabetes tend to have wider, higher toe boxes, which provide toes with a little extra wiggle room. This is important because toes rubbing against each other—or against a shoe itself—can result in blisters.

Since diabetes often causes nerve damage, it’s quite probable you would be unaware of the friction. The concern here is that a blister can become a diabetic foot ulcer over time – especially when peripheral neuropathy keeps you from knowing you have one.Diabetic Shoes

In addition to extra room to protect your feet, diabetic shoes also provide support for arches, ankles, and heels. These features keep you safe when standing and walking, which is necessary to prevent problems from developing. Specifically, stabilizers in the soles work to correct pronation abnormalities that can cause either excessive or inadequate foot roll with every step. This stabilization can further help reduce the risk of blisters, along with offloading pressure that could otherwise be concentrated on areas not equipped to handle it naturally.

With regards to inside-the-shoes features, the shoes you are buying shouldn’t have any inner seams that could potentially rub against your foot and cause blisters. When buying new shoes, take a moment to run your fingers around inside them to ensure the inner lining is smooth.

Yet another reason you may need special shoes when you have diabetes is because these ones feature removable insoles. The importance of this is connected to the fact we may need to prescribe an orthotic device at some point. If we do, you’ll need to be able to take the insoles out so you can fit the orthotic into the shoe.

Remember, if you have diabetes, you should have a diabetic foot care plan to follow so your feet will be safe. In the event you need one, we can help you with this. Of course, you should be coming in to see us for regularly-scheduled appointments anyhow!

For more information—or to make sure you are wearing the proper footwear if you have diabetes—contact our Chicago office. No matter if you have questions that need to be answered or you want to request an appointment with us, we will be glad to help. Either contact us online, or give us a call (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays) at (773) 586-0050.

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Why Diabetic Wounds Need Treatment ASAP

We are proud to provide patients with many valuable services here at our Chicago podiatrist office, but perhaps one of the most important is diabetic foot care. Keeping the lower limbs safe requires education and early treatment when an individual has diabetes.

Diabetes affects the body in a variety of ways—including causing alarming damage to vital body systems—but one that is quite easy to overlook is the role it has in foot health and safety.

One of the body systems that can be impacted by the disease is the circulatory system. Diabetes can cause and contribute to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – a condition marked by constricted blood vessels. When you stop and consider the fact that the lower appendages are already the farthest points on the body from the heart, it stands to reason that impaired circulation caused by diabetes makes it difficult for feet and toes to receive the nourishment they need.

Diabetic Wound Care

In addition to restricted blood flow, another condition often accompanying diabetes and putting the body at risk for serious medical emergencies is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can diminish the ability for the body to feel pain and recognize when an injury is present. Between the two factors, a diabetic individual can sustain a minor wound, be completely unaware of it, and not treat the issue. Given the body’s compromised circulatory and immune systems, the wound will continue to break down.

A wound that continues to progress is known as a diabetic foot ulcer. Diabetic ulcers are a leading cause for lower limb amputations and have a mortality rate that is higher than the rates for prostate, colon, and breast cancers.

Early treatment can prevent wounds from breaking down to the point of ulceration, which is obviously quite important. Given the impaired sensitivity, a key pillar of a diabetic foot care plan is a daily foot inspection. This careful inspection will alert you to any issues that need to be addressed. If you discover anything out of the ordinary, come see us as soon as possible.

Speaking of seeing us, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes—or think you may have this disease—contact our office to set up an appointment. Together, we can create a diabetic foot care plan centered on preventative measures and early detection and treatment to keep your feet safe. Call us for more information at (773) 586-0050 (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are best for calling).

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Can Pigeon Toes Be Corrected?

Intoeing—a condition you might know as “pigeon toes”—is something that concerns parents, especially new ones. Many wonder what kinds of long-term impact the condition will have on their child’s life or if pigeon toes can be corrected.

Let’s start with a quick look at why intoeing happens. There are generally three different causes – metatarsus adductus, tibial torsion, and femoral anteversion. In that order, the root cause starts at the bottom and moves its way up.


Metatarsus adductus is a matter of unusually-curved feet that turn inward. With tibial torsion and femoral anteversion, abnormal twisting of bones in the lower and upper leg (respectively) leads to pigeon toes.

Often, there is no need for external intervention to correct intoeing. Most cases of mild-to-moderate intoeing is outgrown without treatment. As your child’s body develops, bones will begin to settle into a proper alignment all on their own. It’s important to keep in mind that this can take a few years, though.

When an infant has a serious case of metatarsus adductus, the child might need a series of casts on the affected limb for a couple of weeks. This isn’t something that would be done unless A) the condition is quite serious and B) the baby is at least six months old. The purpose for these casts are to correct alignment into a more natural position before the child starts to walk.

In cases wherein the intoeing is caused by either tibial torsion or femoral anteversion, there is generally no need for braces, casts, or special shoes. Previous treatment for the condition may have used such devices, but time has proven them to be largely ineffective. Essentially, these root causes of intoeing just need time to resolve on their own.

Now, if your child reaches age 9 or 10 and we have not seen any real improvement in the condition, we may recommend surgical intervention to align the bones into a normal positioning. As with our policy for any medical issue, we will exhaust conservative treatment options before reaching that point.

No matter what child foot care services your son or daughter needs, we will be glad to provide compassionate, effective treatment. Contact our Chicago podiatrist office by calling (773) 586-0050 (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are the best times to call), or take advantage of our online form to get in touch with us.

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Tips for Children’s Flatfoot Pain

Children need to be active. They should run around at the park, go swimming in the summer, and spend time being kids. Too often, children nowadays are spending time inside, eyes glued to a television or tablet. Sure, there is value in relaxing—and studies show there may be cognitive benefits to playing video games—but activities like these are best done in moderation.

Child foot

Of course, if your son or daughter experiences flatfoot pain, running around and being physically active is obviously not going to be as enjoyable as it should be. When it comes to alleviating this pain, the good news is that nonsurgical treatment might very well be all that your child needs. This can include any combination of:

  • Shoe inserts. Proper arch support for the feet can potentially help this condition. Pairs bought over-the-counter might work well, but custom orthotics crafted by our office for your child’s unique feet can be even better.
  • Stretching. In addition to pain, stretching exercises can also help combat tiredness in the foot, ankle, or leg that develops from the flatfoot condition. A stretch that is particularly beneficial is the heel cord stretch. To perform this correctly, have your son or daughter stand in front of a wall and lean forward. Have him or her step back with one of the legs, keeping it straight and pressing the heel into the floor. At this point, he or she needs to bend the front knee until a gentle stretch is felt.
  • Icing. The use of ice can help relieve pain and inflammation in the area. Freeze a paper cup full of water and then have your son or daughter roll it back and forth with the bottom of his or her foot.
  • Medication. It’s always best to consult with our staff for dosage recommendations, but nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication can help take away flatfoot pain. Give us a call to find out what is right for your child.

There are many instances where low or fallen foot arches do not cause any issues for children. When your child does experience flatfoot pain, however, we can provide the relief he or she needs. Simply reach out to our Chicago office—we are conveniently located on W. Archer in Garfield Ridge—through our website and schedule an appointment or give us a call at (773) 586-0050 on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday (best days to call).

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