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Avoid Amputation: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet

Diabetics are more at risk for foot problems, often because of poor circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy), which causes a loss of feeling in the feet, rendering patients unable to feel injury or pain. Poor circulation decreases the body’s ability to heal, which can make it difficult to heal injuries or wounds and resist infection. Because April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing information regarding complications caused by diabetes.

When a person suffering from diabetes has neuropathy, they are often unaware if their shoes are causing pressure and producing calluses, cuts, blisters, or corns. Minor injuries such as these can develop into ulcers, and if the patient is also suffering from poor circulation, they can become infected and may not heal correctly.

This common complication associated with diabetes can result in a chronic foot ulcer, which is a leading reason for amputation. It’s considered when the healing possibility is poor or a serious infection spreads and risks the patient’s life. 

Preventing Complications from Diabetes

Patients with diabetes must take precautionary measures to care for their feet, including daily foot inspections, regular exams by a podiatrist, and wearing proper shoes.

And because small foot problems can morph into serious complications, patients must seek treatment early, especially for blisters, corns, calluses, and minor cuts.

What to Do When Complications Arise

The loss of limb and life are real fears for diabetics with a serious infection. Patients and physicians work together to determine what the best options are to treat the infection, avoid limb loss and get the patient well as quickly as possible.

Amputation is a problem that both physicians and patients work to prevent if possible. It’s estimated that about 85 percent of amputations can be prevented with early intervention. It should not always be seen as a failure of treatment but instead as a more reliable and faster method of rehabilitation to return to the activities of daily living.

If you are diabetic and have questions about proper foot care for healthy feet, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA to schedule a visit. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936

Author
Dr. Hubert Lee

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