If you have diabetes, you are at increased risk of potentially serious foot problems.
You’ll be glad to know that the foot and ankle experts at Aspire Orthopedic Institute have the training and experience to recognize and treat these problems. They will work closely with the doctors who are helping you manage your diabetes to ensure you receive the most comprehensive care.
What foot problems are caused by diabetes?
Too much glucose (sugar) in your blood from diabetes can cause nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) and poor blood flow in your extremities (peripheral artery disease, or PAD).
These two conditions, in turn, can lead to:
Diabetic foot ulcers (wounds that don’t heal or become infected)
Infections including cellulitis (skin infection), osteomyelitis (bone infection) and abscesses (a collection of pus)
Gangrene (dead tissue as a result of complete loss of circulation)
Charcot arthropathy (nerve damage leads to destruction of the joints and soft tissue in the foot, causing foot deformity)
How are diabetic foot problems treated?
There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for diabetic foot conditions:
Nonsurgical treatments include:
Proper shoewear including special diabetic shoes and insoles
Diabetic foot care including lotion
Vitamins to help with healing and neuropathy
Wounds—Cleaned and treated with dressings and immobilization devices such as cast boots or total contact casts
Infections—Cleaned and patients given antibiotics
Charcot joints—Protective immobilization and assistive devices (e.g., crutches, wheelchair) to prevent weight-bearing
Gangrene of the toes—Observation (if infection is controlled) until the toe(s) naturally separate(s) from the foot
Surgical options include:
Severe infections—Surgical removal of decaying tissue or amputation
Charcot foot—Fusion and surgical correction of the deformity
Vascular disease (PAD)—Arterial bypass procedures performed by vascular surgeons
Gangrene—Partial foot amputation or below-knee amputation
Preventing diabetic foot problems
Many common foot problems can lead to pain or infections for people with diabetes, so it’s critical to prevent them. If you do have any of these conditions, seek prompt treatment from your doctor:
Corns and calluses
Dry and cracked skin
Fungal infection of the toenails
If you have diabetes, you should:
Examine your feet every day and after taking off your shoes
If you do not have neuropathy, vascular disease or a foot deformity, you should have your feet examined once a year by your healthcare provider
If you do have neuropathy, vascular disease or a foot deformity, you should be examined every 4 to 6 months by an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist
Want to learn more about treatments for diabetic foot conditions at Aspire Orthopedic Institute?
Simply call us to schedule an appointment at the location that’s most convenient for you: