Podiatrist from Erie PA Discusses Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 15.7 million people (5.9 percent of
the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy)
affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may
cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands.
Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their feet or
face severe consequences, including amputation. With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a
blister from wearing a shoe that's too tight can lead to a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases
blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal. When a wound is not healing, is at risk for
infection and infections spread quickly in diabetics.
When a diabetic foot becomes numb, it may be at risk for deformity. One way this happens is
through ulcers. Small, unattended cuts become open sores, which may then become infected.
Another way is the bone condition CharcotFoot. This is one of the most serious foot problems
diabetics face. It warps the shape of the foot when bones fracture and disintegrate, and
yet, because of numbness there is no pain, and the individual continues to walk on the foot.
Our practice can treat diabetic foot ulcers and early phases of Charcot (pronounced
"sharko") fractures using a total contact cast and prevent more serious damage or deformity.
This treatment allows the ulcer to heal by distributing weight and relieving pressure. For
Charcot Foot, the cast controls foot movement and supports its contours
If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds,
bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts, and nail
discoloration. Get someone to help you, or use a mirror