Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Care

According to the American Diabetes Association, 9.3% of Americans have diabetes, a disease affecting the way the human body processes glucose. Over an extended period of time, high glucose levels can damage the nervous system, reducing sensation in the feet.

Due to the suppression of the immune response and reduced blood flow to the feet in diabetics, the body may be unable to heal wounds you suffer to your feet. As sensation has already been reduced, if you aren’t checking your feet regularly, you may not realize your feet are injured until it’s too late. If left untreated, bacterial infections can lead to gangrene, which may require amputation to ensure that the infection does not spread to other parts of the body.

Cutting Edge Foot and Ankle clinic

 Diabetic patients are prone to many foot, ankle and lower extremity problems due to peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation due to damage of the nerves) and poor circulation. Due to peripheral neuropathy diabetic patients are unable to feel any pressure areas, painful calluses that can lead to wounds and open wounds that can ultimately lead to bad infections quickly if not addressed. Due to poor circulation, diabetic patients that develop cuts or wounds heal very slowly which can lead to increased risk of infection and ultimately amputation. Severe poor circulation (peripheral arterial disease) if not addressed can lead to gangrene (death of body tissue or severe bacterial infection). This can lead to sepsis (infection in blood that is life threatening). It is very important for diabetic patients to practice preventive care and important that diabetic patients to be seen by a podiatrist for routine foot care including nail care and callus care. We will also make sure you are in the proper shoe gear and inserts.

 

Routine Diabetic Foot Exam in our office includes:

  1. Blood flow check, if pulses in your feet cannot be felt with our fingers, we use an ultrasound to hear for pulses. If there is lack of blood flow, we order other blood flow tests and refer patients to vascular surgeons. We also check for swelling which can lead to breaks in the skin and ulcers.
  2. Check sensation in your feet utilizing multiple instruments.
  3. Check your skin and nails for any changes in color, calluses, dry skin, any wounds or signs of local infection.
  4. Check for any deformities in your feet including bunions and hammertoes which can lead wounds. Check for Charcot deformity, which is a severe foot deformity caused by loss of sensation in your feet. This can lead to foot fractures, worsening deformity, difficulties walking, wounds and can lead to amputation.
  5. DO NOT trim your own toenails or shave calluses at home or perform at “home surgery” of ingrowing toenails. You can cut yourself and this can lead to wounds/infections. We can trim your toenails in the office, shave calluses and perform ingrowing nail procedures in the office in a safe and clean manner.
  6. VISIT our office for routine diabetic foot care every 3 months. It is important for us as podiatrists to educate, perform routine foot exams, perform nail care or any other preventive measures necessary including prescribing diabetic shoes and inserts to prevent pre-ulcerative calluses and ulcers.
CE Foot & Ankle Clinic, Nashville
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