Vol. 2 No. 1 (2022)
Health Technology Reviews

Orthopedic Footwear for People With Lower-Limb Conditions

Published January 19, 2022

Key Messages

  • In adults with rheumatoid arthritis, prefabricated orthopedic footwear may reduce foot pain and improve physical functioning, but not affect health-related quality of life. However, this is based on evidence of variable quality from within-group designs, comparing outcomes pre- and postintervention.
  • Due to conflicting results, evidence of variable quality from comparatives studies regarding the effectiveness of prefabricated orthopedic footwear for foot pain and foot function in people with inflammation of the soles of the feet (plantar fasciitis) or gout was inconclusive.
  • Evidence of variable quality from 2 systematic reviews suggested that prefabricated orthopedic footwear after a healed diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) may prevent the recurrence of the condition better than conventional shoes at 1 year but not at 2 years.
  • No economic evaluations were identified that evaluated the cost-effectiveness of prefabricated orthopedic footwear for treating people with lower-limb conditions.
  • Two evidence-based guidelines recommended against using orthopedic footwear for treatment in patients with DFUs and 2 recommended using orthopedic footwears for adults with healed DFUs to prevent a recurrence. One guideline recommended using orthopedic footwear by adults with rheumatoid arthritis.