Orthopedic footwear: the results are in, are you sticking with the program?

April 8, 2018

When it comes to post-stroke recovery, there are a lot of things competing for your attention. And that’s understandable — you’re learning, re-learning, and making discoveries every day. But as you move from the earlier days of stroke to the longer-term, chronic phase of stroke, your focus can change. You might go from looking at things in day-to-day terms to taking a farther-reaching view of things. But just how often do you think about your footwear? According to a team of researchers in France, the answer to that question might be, ‘not enough’. Lucky for us, they’re doing some of the thinking for us.

How satisfied are patients with their orthopedic shoes

The researchers interviewed 36 patients who had experienced a stroke at least one year ago. The interview focused on the patients’ level of satisfaction with their orthopedic shoes. It included questions related to walking, and how often (and for how long) they wore the shoes. The aim was to determine how satisfied patients were with their orthopedic shoes and if the level of satisfaction affected their wearing patterns.

Of the 36 patients interviewed, 34 were still wearing the shoes after two years; 22 of these patients wore them daily, six wore them outside every day, and six wore them three or four times a week for outside activities. Interviewees said that, overall, the shoes helped their confidence. They felt safer while improving specific ailments such as foot drag and instability.

While the way you feel about footwear will be mainly determined by your circumstances (for example, many interviewees found the shoes to be too heavy), it’s clear that for most wearers, the benefits of orthopedic shoes outweigh the perceived problems they may present.

Orthopedic shoes have the approval of many patients dealing with chronic stroke. You can find orthopedic shoes starting at about $50, and there are a lot of styles to choose from.

The lead author of this study is Marjorie Kerzoncuf, Aix Marseille Univ, APHM, INT, Inst Neurosci Timone, CHU Timone, Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Marseille, France.

What you can do with this information

Editorial note:

If you are wondering whether it pays off to keep wearing your orthopedic shoes, you should read this article.

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