Diabetic Foot Care - Macomb Foot & Ankle Specialists
The health of one’s feet is an important determinant of how independently they move around life. While anyone can suffer a range of foot problems, for diabetics even common foot problems can lead to infection and serious consequences.
In the Shelby Township office of Macomb Foot & Ankle Specialists, Drs. Butler and Stiebel have extensive experience in applying the latest and most effective techniques for the care and treatment of foot and ankle issues for people with diabetes. Although in treating diabetes-related foot care issues we emphasize non-invasive treatments such as lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and diabetic shoes and insoles, we have the capability to perform necessary surgeries as well. In the best interest of our diabetic patients, we accept Medicare to help maintain and treat diabetic foot complications.
Conditions and Effects
Conditions affecting nerves and circulation are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. The most common such conditions are:
- Peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage, is the most common diabetes complication. It leads to loss of sensation, numbness, and sometimes pain in feet, legs, or hands.
- Peripheral artery disease is a type of circulatory problem in which blood flow to the limbs is restricted by narrowed arteries. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking.
In severe peripheral neuropathy and peripheral artery disease cases, a combination of reduced blood flow to the feet and decreased sensation can lead to ulcers. Tissue death, or gangrene, is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition, and can occur if tissues receive insufficient oxygen over an extended period. Gangrene. Other potentially serious problems include cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and sepsis.
People with diabetes face higher-than-normal risks for milder problems due to problems with the nerves and circulation to the feet. While conditions such as bunions, corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails are not typically dangerous to the general population, they take on increased urgency among diabetics because they can lead to infection and serious complications.
The best thing a person with diabetes can do for their overall health and to prevent foot problems is to manage their diabetes and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Particular attention to foot care is important, however, due to the potential that diabetic nerve damage has for creating foot issues.
The loss of feeling that sometimes comes with diabetes means a foot injury can go undetected without careful inspection. For this reason, an essential practice is to follow a foot care regimen, including setting a daily routine of washing the feet using warm water and mild soap. That routine should include inspecting for sores, redness, cuts, blisters, or bruises, and reporting changes to our foot doctors in Shelby Township. Where the skin feels rough or dry, apply lotion or oil, but don’t use lotion between the toes, since infections are more likely to develop in moist areas.
Diabetes patients receive recommendations regarding the frequency of office visits. Drs. Butler and Stiebel typically include a cursory foot exam at each visit and conduct a thorough foot exam annually.
If you are experiencing diabetic foot problems or have just been diagnosed with the systemic disease, please contact Macomb Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule an appointment.