If you’re one of the 100 million Americans living with diabetes, you’re also at risk of diabetic foot problems, including nerve damage, diabetic ulcers, and gangrene. At Wound Care Associates in Delray Beach, Florida, Eugenio Rodriguez, MD, and the team offer a wide range of diabetic foot care services to minimize uncomfortable symptoms and improve quality of life. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are consistently too high. Without proper management, high blood sugar can spike, causing permanent nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy). Diabetic neuropathy causes tingling, stinging, and burning in the feet.
Over time, this negatively affects your ability to experience sensations like heat, cold, or pain. As a result, you can injure your foot and not realize it. When left untreated, a minor injury like a puncture wound can turn into a diabetic ulcer. Roughy 80% of diabetic amputations start with a foot ulcer and it's crucial that you see a physician at the first sign of foot problems. Diabetes also affects circulation to your feet. Without adequate blood flow, you're more likely to experience foot and toe deformities.
Diabetes also increases your risk of infection, gangrene, and amputation. Diabetes accounts for more than 50% of foot amputations in the United States.
The symptoms of diabetic foot problems vary and depend on the underlying cause. Common indications include:
If you develop an infection, you might also experience:
If you or a loved one experiences these or similar symptoms, seek treatment at Wound Care Associates right away.
To diagnose diabetic foot problems, Dr. Rodriguez reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and conducts a physical exam. During your exam, he observes your feet, toes, and ankles, looking for signs of skin color or temperature changes, ingrown toenails, or dry, cracked skin on your heels.
Dr. Rodriguez also observes your feet and heels for puncture wounds, lacerations, ulcers, or other potential damage. If left untreated, these wounds may become infected or gangrenous and require amputation. If Dr. Rodriguez needs additional information, he might also order diagnostic imaging.
Treatment of diabetic foot problems depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your quality of life. Whenever possible, Dr. Rodriguez recommends conservative, non-surgical treatments like keeping wounds clean and dressed and wearing immobilization devices like a cast or boot.
If conservative treatment is unsuccessful, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Rodriguez might recommend:
Dr. Rodriguez does everything in his power to preserve limbs and prevent amputation.
Don’t let ulcers and other diabetic foot problems prevent you from living a healthy, active life. Schedule an appointment at Wound Care Associates by calling the office or booking a consultation online today.