My suspicion is that many who possess all ten of them rarely think about what their lives would be like if they were missing a toe. Every day your toes help you keep your balance. Your toes assist in stabilizing your body weight and they help propel your body forward while you walk. Good foot health is probably something most of us take for granted on a daily basis, it is something I hope you always have however if you have lost one or more toes you may want to consider using a toe filler.
Essentially a toe filler is a custom orthotic device that replaces the toe(s) that someone has lost. Since a toe filler is replacing a body part that was formerly operational it must work with the remainder of the foot. To create a toe filler an impression is taken of an individual foot. Software can be used to discern pressure points on the plantar surface of the foot. These pressure points are important because the end goal is full replacement of the missing digit and total contact with the sole of the patient's foot.
After an impression has been taken a cast is made from the hollowed out area. Once that dries people in the lab work to manufacture the toe filler. A virtually perfect fit is necessary for the toe filler to function properly so throughout the toe filler creation lab technicians are gradually making smaller and smaller refinements to their product. Not all amputees are the same, toe fillers by their nature are custom products and one of the cool things people in the lab can do is make the toe filler in such a way that it helps even out pressure beneath an uneven foot.
Perhaps you were wondering what type of people are spending their hard earned money on toe fillers. While accidents and injuries claim fingers and toes many people lose toes because their body has failed to nourish that part of their foot. Some cancer patients have missing digits however having cancer does not necessarily increase your risk of losing toes. People who are diabetic are in the high risk group as these people are more likely to develop a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
People without impaired nerves may have difficulty understanding how damaged nerves impair the ability to sense things normally. If your sock bunches up around your small toes a normal foot will send messages to your brain in the form of a pain or irritation signal. Nerves that fail to send the correct messages to the brain are unreliable, these feet may not notice touch, warmth, coolness or pain. People with peripheral neuropathy are particularly vulnerable because a seemingly insignificant abrasion can become an infected wound that may eventually turn gangrenous.
Diabetics in particular should examine their feet regularly. Any irritation should be noted and every effort made to resolve whatever caused it as catching things when they are small can reduce the likelihood of a surgical amputation. Habitually wearing properly fitted good supportive shoes can reduce the amount of stress each part of your foot bears. A foot may not be in pain while in an unsupported state, during this stage a protective callus may form. That thickened skin is a warning sign that the foot is being stressed unnaturally and should be treated before an ulceration develops.
Once a person has had one amputation they are at risk for a second surgery. Research indicates that people who have undergone surgical removal of a body part are not likely to live as long as people whose body remains whole. You were given one body at birth and it is up to you to give that body the best care you can afford. In closing I hope you've learned a new term. It is also my sincere hope that this writeup is the closest you ever get to a functional toe filler.