According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) someone in this country loses a limb due to diabetic complications every 20 seconds. Now, a new pair of socks could go a long way toward reducing that statistic drastically.
The reason behind many of these amputations is the formation of ulcers, deep, hard-to-heal wounds that diabetics are more prone to developing because of the loss of sensation in the outer limbs experienced by many people with diabetes.
Recently, doctors at the University of Arizona Medical Center introduced ‘smart socks,’ socks that use fiber optics and sensors to monitor pressure levels in diabetic feet. Increased pressure levels also put diabetics at risk of developing ulcers.
Dr. Bijan Najafi, who is involved in the development of the socks, said, "These Smart Socks were designed to identify both locations of the foot and ranges of motion that could be problematic. We can then get information to can give us a warning sign of hotspots, which cause complications.” Researchers expect the socks to be widely available by 2019.
Technology can do a lot to protect diabetic feet, but, as your Houston podiatrist, I believe that you are the strongest weapon in the battle against dangerous foot ulcers. Performing daily self-foot checks, and maintaining regular appointments with your podiatrist should keep your feet safe and protect you from the amputation epidemic sweeping the country.