Why Diabetic Foot Care Matters
If you have diabetes, your feet are at risk.
More than 30 million Americans are believed to live with the disease—some diagnosed, some not—and another 80 to 90 million have elevated blood sugar levels that may eventually reach Type 2 status. Diabetes can cause health problems throughout the body, with feet being one of the most vulnerable locations.
That’s because diabetes shuts down circulation and damages nerves, especially in the toes and feet. Suddenly, injuries and wounds take a lot longer to heal—and without healthy nerves, you may not even realize you have a problem. If you don’t get care in time, you may risk losing a foot or limb to amputation, or developing a serious foot deformity (Charcot foot).
Fortunately, most serious diabetic foot and ankle complications can be prevented with a combination of healthy habits and regular care from a podiatrist. At Northwest Extremity Specialists, our team will do everything in their power to protect and care for your feet, so that you can remain healthy and active for years to come.
Our Diabetic Foot Care Services
Our team offers a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to diabetic foot care with multiple advanced treatment options. With almost a dozen physicians who regularly consult on care, you gain the full benefit of our broad range of training and specialties.
- Health screenings and diagnostic testing. In most cases, nerve damage and narrowed arteries won’t cause any noticeable symptoms—at first. Unfortunately, by the time you notice the problem, it may be too late to fully reverse course. However, these problems can be detected ahead of time through simple tests. Getting a full checkup at least once per year can help you slow or stop problems before they fully arrive.
- Diabetic footwear. Custom orthotics and diabetic shoes help at-risk patients protect their feet from both internal and external threats—reducing impact and shear forces, cushioning sensitive spots, and providing plenty of wiggle room for toes.
- Maintenance care. If you have diabetes, seemingly ordinary conditions like corns and calluses, thick toenails, bunions and hammertoes, or dry skin pose a greater risk to long-term health and are more difficult to care for. We ensure that these problems are addressed effectively and safely.
Restoring Your Health
- Advanced Wound Care. Diabetic wounds must be healed as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of infections and prevent amputation. In addition to standard treatments, our specialists have received advanced wound care training and offer state-of-the-art technology to greatly improve outcomes, including wound VAC (a therapy that creates negative pressure to clean wounds and remove excess fluids), autogenous and synthetic skin grafts, topical medications enriched with growth factors, and surgical options.
- Diabetic Foot Reconstruction. Some diabetic patients with severe neuropathy develop a condition called Charcot foot. Bones break and then crumble under weight, producing a severely misshapen foot. Diabetic foot reconstruction is a very complex surgical procedure that requires special training, but when successful can restore foot function and help you prevent an amputation.
Continuing Care for Your Diabetic Feet
Regardless of your personal history with diabetes and foot problems, we strongly encourage all of our patients with diabetes to inspect their feet every day, establish healthy habits, and visit our specialists at least yearly for a checkup, circulatory and nerve screenings, and proactive, preventative care.If you’re due for your next diabetic foot checkup—or you have any injuries or wounds—please call the nearest office of the Northwest Extremity Specialists and book an appointment today.