Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Circulator Boot

The brand name of a device that compresses the leg in synchrony with a person’s heartbeat. The boot can be used to treat a number of medical conditions, including claudication (cramping leg pain when walking) and foot and leg ulcers.

In the long-boot version of the Circulator Boot system, the person’s leg is placed in a rigid, boot-shape device that encloses the leg from the groin to the toes. The person is hooked up to a heart monitor to synchronize the compression phase of the boot’s inflatable bag with the diastolic phase of the heartbeat (when the heart is in its relaxed state). The boot compresses chosen portions of the leg to move the blood through the leg. Typically, the therapy is given as a series of daily treatments of about 40 minutes each.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Circulator Boot for treating claudication, foot and leg ulcers, and emerging gangrene. Proponents say that it has a number of potentially beneficial effects, including improved blood flow, promotion of angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), and the dissemination of antibiotics into the foot, when needed.

There have been a number of studies showing potential benefits in some medical conditions, including foot and leg ulcers, but there have been no carefully designed, clinical trials to conclusively prove its benefits. For more information about the Circulator Boot, visit its Web site at www.circulatorboot.com, and consult your health-care providers.



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