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In a report released by the American Diabetes Association in 2011, it was stated that 25.8 million people, children and adults included, have some form of diabetes. That amounts to 8.3% of the U.S. population.
Foot problems are a big risk for diabetics, and unfortunately, frequently overlooked until symptoms arise. The price of ignoring the early effects of diabetes on your feet are ulcers, wounds that won't heal, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, charcot foot disorder, and in extreme cases, amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. It's very important that once diagnosed, you schedule regular visits with your podiatrist so they can create a baseline from which to monitor the health of your feet, ankles, and lower legs.
The greatest threats to the health of a diabetic's feet are neuropathy and vascular damage. Once these systems cease to function properly, a cascade of problems arise.
Diabetics need to inspect their feet every day, looking for puncture wounds, bruises, redness, unusual warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and toenail problems. If you can't see your feet, have someone help you, or use a mirror.
Diabetes-related Foot and Leg Problems
How we can help you
Scheduling regular foot checkups and seeking medical advice when you notice anything out of the ordinary can keep small problems from becoming much worse. Your foot and ankle surgeon has many tools at their disposal to help wounds heal and prevent infection.
When Is Amputation Necessary?
Even with preventative care and prompt treatment of infection and complications, there are instances when amputation is necessary to remove infected tissue, save a limb, or even save a life. We will take every measure possible to avoid this.
It all starts with you - the more proactive you are in maintaining your foot and ankle health, the less impact diabetes will have on your feet.
Please see our page on how to avoid foot and lower leg complications from diabetes.