Diabetic Foot Care

Ulcers on the foot may not always come with pain, but they are serious conditions that should be evaluated by a medical professional. The symptoms of ulcers may include drainage, or red, inflamed tissue. To properly diagnose and develop a treatment plan x-rays may be ordered.

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Amputation Prevention and Limb Salvage

Time is of the essence when trying to save a limb. Any time a patient has a sore or wound on the lower extremity they should immediately seek intervention so that the appropriate steps can be taken to prevent lower extremity amputations. Patients with limb-threatening conditions, such as diabetic foot ulcers/infections and peripheral arterial disease should be particularly vigilant. Diabetic foot complications are among the most complex to treat and require great attention.

Underlying conditions can complicate, what seems like a simple wound on your foot or lower leg and quickly turn it into a significant problem. Many lower limb amputations are caused by foot ulcers that are a result of complications from diabetes including: Infections, poor Circulation, neuropathy, charcot foot, gangrene, or trauma. Sometimes it is as simple as blisters and sores from poorly fitting shoes. The longer an ulcer remains open and unhealed, the more likely it is to become infected. Foot ulcers complicated by infection are often what lead to an amputation. The best approach for amputation prevention is to determine the underlying cause of the wound and establish an aggressive and comprehensive treatment plan to reduce healing time and improve healing rates.

Depending on the type of wound, the treatment plan may include: Infection control, Restoration of blood flow, debridement (removal of dead tissue), offloading, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, skin substitutes, compression therapy, foot reconstruction, skin graft or flap.

When amputation is unavoidable, we make every effort to salvage as much of the limb as possible.

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Peripheral Neuropathy

As a result of damaged peripheral nerves, peripheral neuropathy can occur causing symptoms like weakness, numbness, burning, and tingling in the hands and feet as well as other parts of the body. Traumatic injuries, diabetes, and even some exposure to toxins can cause peripheral nerve damage.

Once damage to nerves occurs, the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are gradual and worsen with time. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to aid in the prevention of damage to those specific nerves.

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