Diabetic Complications & Amputation Prevention

People with diabetes are prone to having foot problems, often because of two complications of diabetes: nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation. Neuropathy causes loss of feeling in your feet, taking away your ability to feel pain and discomfort, so you may not detect an injury or irritation. Poor circulation in your feet reduces your ability to heal, making it hard for even a tiny cut to resist infection.

Having diabetes increases the risk of developing a wide range of foot problems. Furthermore, with diabetes, small foot problems can turn into serious complications.

Diabetes-related Foot and Leg Problems

  • Infections and ulcers (sores) that don’t heal. An ulcer is a sore in the skin that may go all the way to the bone. Because of poor circulation and neuropathy in the feet, cuts or blisters can easily turn into ulcers that become infected and won’t heal. This is a common – and serious – complication of diabetes and can lead to a loss of your foot, your leg, or your life.
  • Corns and calluses. When neuropathy is present, you can’t tell if your shoes are causing pressure and producing corns or calluses. Corns and calluses must be properly treated or they can develop into ulcers.
  • Dry, cracked skin. Poor circulation and neuropathy can make your skin dry. This may seem harmless, but dry skin can result in cracks that may become sores and can lead to infection.
  • Nail disorders. Ingrown toenails (which curve into the skin on the sides of the nail) and fungal infections can go unnoticed because of loss of feeling. If they are not properly treated, they can lead to infection.
  • Hammertoes and bunions. Nerve damage affecting muscles can cause muscle weakness and loss of tone in the feet, resulting in hammertoes and bunions. If left untreated, these deformities can cause ulcers.
  • Charcot foot. This is a complex foot deformity. It develops as a result of loss of sensation and an undetected broken bone that leads to destruction of the soft tissue of the foot. Because of neuropathy, the pain of the fracture goes unnoticed and the patient continues to walk on the broken bone, making it worse. This disabling complication is so severe that surgery, and occasionally amputation, may become necessary.
  • Poor blood flow. In diabetes, the blood vessels below the knee often become narrow and restrict blood flow. This prevents wounds from healing and may cause tissue death.

What Your Foot and Ankle Surgeon Can Do
Your foot and ankle surgeon can help wounds heal, preventing amputation. There are many new surgical techniques available to save feet and legs, including joint reconstruction and wound healing technologies. Getting regular foot checkups and seeking immediate help when you notice something can keep small problems from worsening. Your foot and ankle surgeon works together with other health care providers to prevent and treat complications from diabetes.

Your Proactive Measures
You play a vital role in reducing complications. Follow these guidelines and contact your foot and ankle surgeon if you notice any problems:

  • Inspect your feet daily. If your eyesight is poor, have someone else do it for you. Inspect for:
    • Skin or nail problems: Look for cuts, scrapes, redness, drainage, swelling, bad odor, rash, discoloration, loss of hair on toes, injuries, or nail changes (deformed, striped, yellowed or discolored, thickened, or not growing).
    • Signs of fracture: If your foot is swollen, red, hot, or has changed in size, shape, or direction, see your foot and ankle surgeon immediately.
  • Don’t ignore leg pain. Pain in the leg that occurs at night or with a little activity could mean you have a blocked artery. Seek care immediately.
  • Nail cutting. If you have any nail problems, hard nails, or reduced feeling in your feet, your toenails should be properly trimmed.
  • No “bathroom surgery.” Never trim calluses or corns yourself, and don’t use over-the-counter medicated pads.
  • Keep floors free of sharp objects. 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. Make sure your socks aren’t bunched up.
  • Have your circulation and sense of feeling tested. Your foot and ankle surgeon will perform tests to see if you’ve lost any feeling or circulation.

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.

10 Comments

  • Jack
    May 9, 2023

    Hi, i think thazt i saw you visited my weblpog
    hus i came tto “return tthe favor”.I’m trying to find things to improove myy weeb site!Isuppose iits okk to uuse somme of our ideas!!

    Reply
  • Francine
    May 10, 2023

    If youu are going for most excelleent contents like myself, simply pay a quick
    visit this web page every day since it offers qualioty contents, thanks

    Also visit my blog post :: directed alarm wiring diagram

    Reply
  • Aretha
    June 14, 2023

    I’m more than happy to uncover this site.

    I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!!

    I definitely really liked every bit of it and i also have you
    saved as a favorite to check out new information on your web site.

    Reply
  • Graciela
    June 16, 2023

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to find someone that
    genuinely knows what they are discussing over the internet.
    You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people must read this and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised you’re not more popular since you definitely have
    the gift.

    Reply
  • Randi
    June 16, 2023

    If some one needs to be updated with latest technologies after that he must be go to see this web page and be
    up to date all the time.

    Reply
  • Monique
    June 19, 2023

    Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info aboput this subject
    for ages and yours is thhe best I have discovered till now.

    But,what about the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the
    source?

    My web page; police written exam [gateway.pinata.cloud]

    Reply
  • Mohammad
    June 23, 2023

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to
    do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Many thanks

    Reply
  • Lisette
    June 25, 2023

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you actually
    realize what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked.

    Please also consult with myy site =). We will
    have a hyperlink trade arrangement among us!

    Take a look at mmy weeb site – module exams (Dani)

    Reply
  • Margarette
    June 28, 2023

    I have been browsing online greater than three
    hours today, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It’s lovely price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content
    material as you did, the net might be much more helpful than ever
    before.

    Reply
  • Tyler
    September 10, 2023

    Loving tthe infcormation on this website, you have done greeat job on the posts.

    Also visiot my wegpage … pmp sample questions [Elida]

    Reply

Leave a Reply