It is common for people with diabetes to develop foot problems.  This primarily arises from worsening neuropathy, poor circulation, or changes in foot structure.  Loss of sensation (neuropathy) prevents your ability to feel pain and discomfort, which can lead to irritation of the skin and the development of an ulceration.  Decreased or poor circulation in your lower legs or feet can prevent adequate healing of the existing wounds, or can cause worsening swelling and pain throughout the course of the day.  It is also common for your foot to change shape as you get older, and this in combination with neuropathy and/or decreased circulation can lead to the development of a wound.  Elevated blood glucose levels only exacerbate these types of problems and prevent your body from allowing it to heal properly.

Diabetes related foot and leg complications:

  • Corns and calluses
  • Nail disorders
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Neuropathy
  • Poor circulation
  • Wounds / Ulcerations
  • Infections
  • Forefoot deformities
  • Charcot foot
  • Amputation / loss of limb

What you can do:

  • Check your blood glucose on a consistent basis.
  • Inspect your feet daily for any signs of pre-ulcerative lesions.
  • Apply moisturizer on a daily basis to improve skin quality.
  • Walk in supportive shoe gear throughout the day.
  • No “bathroom surgery”.
  • Monitor for any signs of swelling to your legs or feet.

Our goal as foot and ankle surgeons is to help prevent the development of wounds/ulcerations and worsening deformity of your feet.  Any break in the skin can allow bacteria to colonize and form an infection, which likely requires antibiotics and/or debridement.  Significant infections commonly require urgent surgical debridement and the possibility of amputation.  Regular diabetic foot risk assessments in the office can help prevent a small problem from developing into a significant, limb threatening complication.

Diabetic Foot Care Management:

  • Comprehensive diabetic foot and lower leg assessment
  • Ulcer debridement
  • Surgery
  • Offloading
  • Nail care
  • Treatment of corns / calluses
  • Diabetic shoes and custom insoles
  • Work-up and treatment of peripheral vascular disease, leg swelling
  • Referral to other diabetic specialties