Diabetic answers from Indiana Podiatry Doctor Nathan Graves
What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is a condition of having a chronic wound on the foot.
Why are foot ulcers so common with diabetic patients?
Diabetes places you at risk because it can lead to a compromise in your nerve function, blood flow, and skin integrity. If a diabetic gets a foot wound, they may not be able to feel it due to decrease in foot sensation. Also, they may have a difficult time healing it with impaired circulation.
How do you know if you have a diabetic foot ulcer?
A foot ulcer is usually identified through daily foot inspections. You may notice a painful, red, swollen foot area that can have drainage.
What are the best ways to prevent these?
Prevention is the key. All diabetics should be evaluated by a podiatrist at least one time a year. If your podiatrist identifies foot issues, then you may visit more regularly for preventative care. Daily foot inspections, proper shoes, and early identification of potential problems are vital to maintaining an ulcer free foot.
What is the importance of early treatment?
It is always easier to heal a small ulcer than a large one. Seeking treatment early will help to decrease the infection potential and decrease the chance of amputation.
When is amputation necessary?
Amputations can be prevented in most cases through regular visits to your podiatrist but on occasion, an amputation may be necessary to limit the spread of infection or return to a functional foot.