If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have foot problems as a result of nerve damage and poor circulation. Neuropathy takes away your ability to feel pain and discomfort, meaning you may not notice an injury or irritation on your feet. Poor circulation reduces your ability to heal, making it difficult for even minor cuts to resist infection. With diabetes, small foot problems can quickly become serious complications.
Common foot problems associated with diabetes include infections and ulcers that do not heal, corns and calluses, dry and cracked skin, nail disorders, hammertoes and bunions, Charcot foot, and poor blood flow to the feet. Poor circulation can cause tissue death, preventing wounds from healing and causing further problems.
It is important to have regular checkups with your foot and ankle surgeon to prevent and treat complications from diabetes. Your surgeon can offer new surgical techniques to save your feet and legs, including joint reconstruction and wound healing technologies.
To reduce complications, you should inspect your feet daily for cuts, scrapes, redness, drainage, swelling, bad odor, rash, discoloration, loss of hair on toes, injuries or nail changes. If you notice any of these problems, seek help from your foot and ankle surgeon immediately. Other precautionary measures include not ignoring leg pain, having your toenails properly trimmed, avoiding bathroom surgeries like trimming calluses or corns, keeping floors free of sharp objects and wearing shoes indoors and outdoors.
Even when prompt treatment is administered, there are times when amputation becomes necessary due to infected tissue. In such instances, removing infected tissue may be helpful in saving a limb, or even saving a life.
Therefore, it is important to take proactive measures and get regular checkups with your foot and ankle surgeon to prevent diabetes-related foot problems, reduce complications, and prevent amputations whenever possible. If you need a foot and ankle surgeon, Dr Gilbert Huang DPM may be able to help.