& Amputation Prevention
People with diabetes are especially vulnerable to foot problems because they may have nerve damage and poor circulation.
Nerve damage takes away your ability to feel pain and discomfort, so you may not feel an injury. Poor circulation in your feet reduces your ability to heal and resist infection.
What Kind of Foot Problems Can People With Diabetes Get?
- Cuts or blisters can turn into ulcers that become infected and won’t heal. (This can lead to a loss of foot, leg, or life.)
- Corns and calluses must be properly treated or they can turn into ulcers.
- Dry, cracked skin may become sores and can lead to infection.
- Ingrown toenails and fungal infections can lead to serious problems
- Nerve damage can cause muscle weakness and loss of tone in the feet, resulting in hammertoes and bunions, which can cause ulcers.
- Charcot foot happens because of a loss of feeling and an undetected broken bone, which can lead to destruction of the soft tissue of the foot.
- Blood vessels below the knee can become narrow and restrict blood flow, preventing wounds from healing and causing tissue death.
- Check your feet daily for cuts, scrapes, redness, drainage, swelling, bad odor, rash, injuries,or nail changes.
- If your foot is swollen, red, hot, or has changed in size, shape, or direction, see your foot and ankle surgeon.
- Pain in the leg that occurs at night could mean you have a blocked artery. Seek medical care immediately.
- Your toenails should be properly trimmed.
- Make sure there are no needles, insulin syringes, or other sharp objects on the floor.
- Don’t go barefoot. Wear shoes, indoors and outdoors. Check shoes and socks. Shake out your shoes before putting them on.
- Have your circulation and sense of feeling tested. Your foot and ankle surgeon can perform tests to see if you’ve lost any feeling or circulation.
- Getting regular foot checkups and seeking immediate help when you notice something can keep small problems from worsening. Your foot and ankle surgeon can work together with your primary care doctor to treat complications from diabetes.
Please call (626) 447-2184 (Arcadia) or (818) 408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.