Tips for Diabetic Foot Care

The nerve and blood vessel damage caused by diabetes can become a problem for your feet if you develop neuropathy, which occurs in about 70 percent of people with diabetes. To ensure the best possible foot health, follow these easy tips to keeping your feet healthy longer.

  1. Inspect your feet daily for changes in color, sores, or cracked skin. A mirror on the floor can help with getting a better look.
  2. When stepping into hot water, such as a bath, hot tub, or shower, use your elbow to check the water temperature. Because people with diabetes tend to develop nerve damage in their feet, they may not realize if the water is too hot and could therefor scald themselves.
  3. Look for shoes with more depth in the toe box and good coverage on both top and bottom and without seams inside the shoe that can rub on your foot.
  4. Wear shoes at all times—even inside the house. With neuropathy, it’s difficult to feel small cuts, scrapes, or other hazards that might harm your feet. Worse, you might not notice the damage until a minor injury becomes infected.
  5. Avoid high-impact exercises that include bouncing, jumping, and leaping. Instead, consider walking or swimming to avoid putting too much pressure on your feet.
  6. Quit smoking! The dangers of smoking run from your head to your feet. The nicotine in a cigarette can decrease the circulation in your skin by 70 percent. If you smoke, you’re depriving your feet of the nutrient and oxygen-rich blood that keeps them healthy and fights infection.
  7. Consider investing in a pair of orthotics or extra depth shoes. A properly fitted pair of orthotics or extra depth shoes can prevent foot wounds by improving fit and reducing pressure, pain, and the chance of deformities.

Know Your Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Coverage Terms

Jeez, health insurance coverage is a complicated business. However, knowing a few key terms can go a long way to making it more understandable. Take a look at the following terms. With these in your arsenal, you’ll confidently navigate your way through insurance documents.


The amount the policy-holder or their sponsor (such as an employer) pays for a health plan.


The amount the insured (that’s you!) must pay out-of-pocket before the health insurer pays its share. For example, policy-holders might have to pay a $500 deductible per year before any of their health care is covered by the health insurer. It may take several doctor’s visits or prescription refills before the insured person reaches the deductible and the insurance company starts to pay for care. Some plans may have separate deductibles for specific services.


The amount the insured person (you, again!) must pay out-of-pocket before the health insurer pays for DME. For example, an insured person might pay a 20% co-payment for an orthotic device.


Exclusions are services that are NOT covered. Insured are generally expected to pay the full cost of non-covered services out of their own pockets. Please note that foot orthotics are often excluded unless the patient has a diabetes diagnosis.

Coverage Limits

Some health insurance policies only pay for health care up to a certain dollar amount. The insured person may be expected to pay any charges in excess of the health plan’s maximum payment for a specific service. In addition, some insurance company plans have annual or lifetime coverage maximums. In these cases, the health plan will stop payment when the benefit maximum is reached and the policy-holder must pay all remaining costs.

Out-of-Pocket Maximums

The insured person’s payment obligation ends when they reach the out-of-pocket maximum, after which the health insurance pays all further covered costs. Out-of-pocket maximums can be limited to a specific benefit category or can apply to all coverage provided during a specific benefit year.

In-Network Provider

In-network refers to providers or health care facilities that are part of a health plan’s network of providers with which it has negotiated a discount. Insured individuals usually pay less when using an in-network provider.

Prior Authorization

A certification or authorization an insurer provides prior to medical service stating it will cover a percentage of the cost. This is often required for DME.

Explanation of Benefits

A document by an insurance company to a patient and the provider of service explaining what part of the medical service was covered.


A written order from your primary care doctor or specialist that is always required by our office. In many Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), you need to get a referral before you can get medical care from anyone except your primary care doctor. If you don’t get a referral first, the plan may not pay for the services.

The Importance of Weight Maintenance with Your Prosthetic Socket

The absence of a limb and a portion of the muscular-skeletal system can cause physical strain on the rest of the body, not to mention the emotional strain of adapting to limb loss. Both your initial recovery and long-term wellness will benefit from committing to a healthy lifestyle.

During rehabilitation and beyond, it’s important to eat as healthily as possible and to remain active to keep your weight stable. Maintaining a consistent, healthy weight is important for everybody. But for those who have lost a limb, it’s even more important for the following reasons:

  • To reduce the energy required to use your prosthesis
  • To prevent or reduce secondary conditions, such as back pain
  • To control diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • To improve your mood and mental health

Most importantly, weight maintenance will help ensure a proper fit of the prosthetic socket attached to your residual limb.

Gaining weight can make the socket tight and uncomfortable; losing weight can cause it to be loose and more difficult to control. In either case, it’s sometimes necessary to fabricate a new socket to accommodate the changing dimensions of the residual limb.

Getting used to a new prosthesis is a physical and psychological challenge involving a partnership between the patient and their prosthetist. Connect with Allen Orthopedic Labs. We’ll work with you through every stage of the process, from choosing the best prosthesis for your needs to helping you learn how to operate your new limb and tackle new challenges.