Diabetes has dramatic effects on our feet. The condition is diagnosed today more than ever before. At East Ocean Podiatry we perform Comprehensive Diabetic Feet Evaluations in our office in order to precisely treat serious conditions and infections. These exams consist of Vascular (blood flow), Neurological, and Musculoskeletal components.
Roughly ten to fifteen percent of patients with diabetes develop foot ulcers during the course of their lives. Consequently, foot-related symptoms are responsible for nearly half of all diabetes-related hospital visits.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), about 16 million people (6 percent of the population of the United States) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 65 percent of diabetic and is one of the main complications that may cause diabetics to lose sensation in their feet or hands.
Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their diabetic feet or face severe consequences, including the possiblity of amputation. With a diabetic foot, a small wound such as a blister from wearing tight shoes can lead to a significant amount of damage. Diabetes limits the flow of blood causing injuries to take more time to heal. When a wound is healing in a limited fashion, it is at risk for infection, and infections spread quickly in diabetics.
When a diabetic foot becomes numb, it may be at risk for deformity through ulceration. Small, unattended cuts turn into open sores, which are at risk to become infected. Another way the foot can become deformed is through the bone condition CharcotFoot. This is perhaps the most serious foot problem diabetics face. The shape of the foot becomes warped when bones disintegrate and fracture. Due to numbness the patient experiences no pain and continues to walk on the foot. At East Ocean Podiatry, we can treat diabetic foot ulcers and early phases of Charcot fractures using a total contact cast and prevent more serious damage or deformity. This treatment allows the ulcer to heal by relieving pressure and effectively distributing weight. For Charcot Foot, the cast controls foot movement and supports its contours.
If you have diabetes, it is suggested that you inspect your feet every day. Look for bruising, puncture wounds, tender areas, redness, warmth, ulcers, blisters, scratches, cuts, and nail discoloration. If it is difficult for you to completely inspect your feet, you can always ask someone to help you!
Some basic tips for taking care of diabetic feet:
- Keep your feet warm
- Do not expose your feet to extreme heat from heating pads, electric blankets and hot water pads because you can burn your feet without even realizing it
- Give up smoking
- Do not soak your feet
- Do not sit cross-legged because it limits blood flow to the feet.
- Trim toenails straight across and avoid cutting the corners. If you discover an ingrown toenail, contact our office for treatment
Contact our office immediately if you experience any injury to your foot. Even a minor injury is an emergency for a patient with diabetes.
Diabetes has dramatic effects on our feet. At East Ocean Podiatry, we perform Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Evaluations in our office in order to prevent serious conditions and infections. These exams consist of Vascular (blood flow), Neurological, and Musculoskeletal components.