For people with diabetes, having an excessive level of glucose (sugar) in their blood for a prolonged time can be a source of some serious complications, including foot problems.
Here are 15 facts about foot disorders caused by diabetes, and the types of surgeries that can be used once they arise.
- A number of different types of foot problems can arise in patients with diabetes.
- Two main conditions, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy, are responsible for the amplified risk of foot problems in individuals with diabetes.
- Symptoms and signs of diabetic foot problems occur because of the reduced sensation from nerve damage as well as the lack of oxygen delivery to the feet caused by vascular disease.
- People with diabetes have an increased risk of ulcers and damage to the feet.
- Diabetic foot problems also include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections, dryness of the skin, and ingrown toenails. These problems are not limited to diabetes but may occur more frequently due to the nerve and vascular damage provoked by diabetes.
- Treatment options depend on the particular type of foot problem. Surgery, or even amputation may be required for some cases.
- Gangrene (dry gangrene) is tissue death due to lack of good blood flow. It can be life-threatening if bacterial infection progresses.
- Many diabetes-related foot conditions can be prevented by good control of blood sugar levels combined with appropriate care of the feet.
- A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore, or wound on the foot of a patient with diabetes, most usually situated on the plantar surface, or bottom of the foot.
- Debridement is a surgical procedure used to clean out dead, or infected skin and tissue from a foot ulcer. It permits your foot surgeon in Raleigh to evaluate the extent of the soft tissue mutilation and boost the healing process.
- If the results of diagnostic tests indicate that poor blood flow caused by lower extremity arterial disease is preventing a foot ulcer from fully healing, a vascular surgeon may perform one, or more procedures to increase blood flow.
- Atherectomy is a procedure in which a surgeon clears a clogged artery by shaving, cutting, or vaporizing plaque - a waxy substance composed of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other materials in the blood.
- A leg bypass is a surgical procedure, which allows the surgeon to create a new route for blood to travel around a blocked artery, restoring blood flow to the leg and foot.
- A particularly useful role of surgery in the management of the diabetic foot is to intervene at an early stage to correct deformities in order to relieve pressure areas and reduce the risk of developing an ulcer (eg. tenotomy or exostectomy).
- Achilles tendon tenotomy may be used to correct a tight Achilles tendon that is causing flexible equinus deformity in the foot.
Orthopedic foot doctors in Raleigh, Holly Springs, Garner and Cary
Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic’s Board Certified orthopedic foot doctors in Raleigh, have many years of experience in diagnosing and treating even the most complex foot and ankle conditions for patients of all ages, and with various conditions. We work closely with our foot surgeons in Raleigh to provide patients with conservative treatment options, performing in-office procedures, if necessary.
Make an appointment with your foot surgeons in Raleigh (or our other locations) to get specialized treatment with a personal approach.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.