Diabetic Foot Care

diabetic wound

Diabetes Mellitus can have devastating effects to your feet. Diabetics may develop peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease that are associated with long term poorly controlled blood glucose levels. The loss of protective nerve sensation in peripheral neuropathy and the delayed healing of wounds and ulcerations in peripheral vascular disease are risk factors seen in diabetics for lower limb amputations. Neuropathy of sensory nerves causes diabetics to lose feeling at the bottom of the feet and leaves them unresponsive to pressure and to sometimes usually painful stimuli. Decreased circulation is another complication of diabetes that delay or prevent timely healing of foot wounds and ulcerations. 

At Elite Foot & Ankle, Dr. Cheng periodically examines diabetic patients to make sure their feet are clear of any wounds or ulcerations. Patients will also be informed about preventative foot care. This is also the time to make sure there are no foreign bodies that may have punctured the bottom of the foot. Neuropathic diabetic patients may not even realize that they have stepped on a sharp object. The diabetic foot care visit at Elite Foot & Ankle will also involve trimming of long nails and paring of any corns and calluses. Dr. Cheng will exam the foot for any biomechanical deformities and conditions that put the patient at risk for diabetic foot ulcerations. Offloading recommendations with padding and custom orthotics as well as prophylactic surgery will be discussed.

Diabetic patients who develop severe diabetic foot infections will require surgery at the hospital to drain and to remove the infected soft tissue and bone. If infection to the bone (osteomyelitis) is severe enough, amputation of the anatomic part removing the infected soft tissue and bone is warranted. The patient will then spend a few overnights at the hospital for IV antibiotics and medical management. 

There are times other medical specialists such as Vascular surgeon, Internist, Endocrinologist, Radiologist, and Infectious Disease Specialist will be consulted for the comprehensive care of the diabetic patient. 

Diabetics who have an ongoing issue or happen to notice any changes to their feet will need to see a foot and ankle surgeon. If you experience any of the following problems: wounds, calluses, athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails, increasing pain or numbness, hammertoes, bunions, signs of infection, and skin color changes, contact Elite Foot & Ankle without delay to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cheng.

Dr. Cheng will provide a thorough and complete care of the diabetic foot and educate the diabetic patient on maintaining a healthy foot.

Connect with us