Diabetes puts feet at an elevated risk for a serious complication or injury. Two conditions, in particular, lay the groundwork for most of these problems:
- Peripheral neuropathy—nerves in the feet and legs deteriorate and die, leaving you less able to sense danger and more likely to overlook cuts, bruises, sprains, or other injuries.
- Poor circulation—blood flow to the feet and ankles becomes compromised. This reduces the effectiveness of your immune system and ability to heal injuries. It also means your tissues get less oxygen and fewer nutrients. In extreme cases, they could even die due to lack of nutrition.
Because of this unfortunate combination of factors, people with diabetes are more susceptible to all kinds of foot injuries and conditions. This especially includes complications that frequently lead to amputation if not treated in time, such as:
- Wounds and ulcers that don’t heal and may become infected
- Tissue death (gangrene)
- Charcot foot deformity
If you have diabetes, it’s critical to get your feet checked regularly by a specialist—even if there are no obvious problems. To book your appointment, call your local office of the Northwest Extremity Specialists today.