Out of the 34.2 Americans who have diabetes, approximately 15 percent of them will develop ulcers (open sores or wounds) on the soles of their feet. Six percent of those 15 percent will be hospitalized due to the infection or a related complication. Podiatrists are the medical specialists who treat foot ulcers.
At the office of Active Ankle and Foot Care Specialist, our board-certified podiatrists treat the wide spectrum of problems that involve feet. Keeping your feet healthy is as important to them as it is to you. We know the significance of foot comfort, and all of our patients are given as much time and attention as they need.
While all diabetics can get foot ulcers, Native Americans, black people, Hispanics and older men are more likely to develop them. Obesity, tobacco and alcohol are also contributors. Causes of the ulcers include a mixture of foot issues such as numbness, poor circulation, deformities, friction, pressure and trauma.
People who’ve had diabetes for a long time can develop neuropathy. This is a lessened or lack of the capacity to feel foot pain due to nerve damage, which a diabetic may feel and therefore not be aware of. Podiatrists use a tool called a monofilament to test for neuropathy. The test is easy and painless.
If you have diabetes and notice an ulcer on your foot, see a podiatrist right away to cut down on the risks of infection and amputation, enhance your foot’s function and save time and money on serious medical treatment that could happen in the future. Be on the lookout for secretions, swelling, redness and possible odor.
It’s important for a foot ulcer to heal as quickly as possible to reduce the chance of infection. A podiatrist treats ulcers by eradicating dead tissue and skin (debridement), and spreading on medication and/or applying dressing. He’ll also devise a way for you to remove pressure from the area (off-loading). If infection has already set in by the time you see the podiatrist, he will develop a treatment of antibiotics and wound care. Hospitalization might be necessary.
No matter what kind of foot problem you have, count on the expertise of everyone—from the front desk to the podiatrists—at Active Ankle and Foot Care Specialist. We will scrupulously evaluate the health of your feet and patiently answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to call us to schedule an appointment.