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Attacking Type II diabetes feet first


Steve Spinks
19 March 2014
Assessment, design and manufacturing foot orthoses specifically for sufferers of Type II diabetes will be the focus of The Clinical Application of Pedorthics workshop to be held at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus from Thursday March, 20.

The presenter, Karl-Heinz Schott, is the board member of the Pedorthic Association of Australia in charge of education and has been practising in the allied health field of pedorthics for more than 25 years. Mr Schott is also an Adjunct Professional Fellow with Southern Cross University.

“Type II diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions and the condition can lead to poor circulation in the feet, which in turn can lead to an ulcer, infection and ultimately foot amputations,” he said.

“Recent research suggests that amputation rates due to Type II diabetes in the past decade have increased 30 per cent. This ranks us as the second worst in the developed world with 18 amputations per 100,000 people.

“A simple way to help Type II diabetes sufferers avoid amputation and foot-disease related problems is for them to have appropriate footwear. Special footwear, or orthoses for footwear, can help disperse pressure loads so that sores do not develop in the first place minimising the risk of infection and amputation.

“The cost of orthoses and pedorthic footwear to the medical system is also considerably less than the cost of paying for an amputation.”

The Application in Pedorthics course is part of the Pedorthic Certification Requirements, for registration on the Medical Grade Footwear (MGF)/Pedorthic Register. Pedorthics is an allied health field where professionals have specialised training to assess the patients, modify footwear and employ supportive devices to address conditions which affect the feet and lower limbs.

The workshop at the Gold Coast campus will focus on pedorthic assessment and physical examination, biomechanics, plant pressure evaluation and redistribution, development of a treatment plan and record taking.

It includes several methods of custom-designing foot orthoses, including orthoses for partial foot amputation, as well as footwear modifications like rocker soles, buttressing and ‘build ups’ to name just a few.

The first part of the course is from March 20 to 22, the second is from April 10 to 12 and the third from May 8 to 10.

For further information or to register please contact Carla Robinson at the School of Health and Human Sciences on 07 5589 3231.

Photo: Karl-Heinz Schott.