Items filtered by date: April 2022
While complications of diabetes, such as poor circulation and neuropathy, can make a wound easier to develop and harder to detect and heal, there are many preventative measures you and your podiatrist can take to reduce your risk of amputation. On your end, make foot care a priority. Wear shoes and socks that fit well and don’t rub against any part of your feet or cut off circulation. Avoid walking barefoot. Elevate your feet and wiggle your toes frequently to keep the blood flowing. Eat a balanced diet and exercise to help manage your sugar levels and maintain a healthy body weight. Don’t smoke. Inspect your feet twice a day, using a mirror if needed, to see the bottom of your feet. Get to your podiatrist right away if you spot anything unusual. Early recognition/treatment of a problem can greatly reduce your risk of amputation. Some wounds may be avoided by getting regular foot screenings and having a podiatrist trim your toenails and treat any corns or calluses. They may also prescribe diabetic shoes and create custom orthotics to prevent foot injuries. If a wound does develop, your podiatrist can dress your wound appropriately, remove dead skin and tissue (debridement), reduce pressure and friction on the wound, and help restore adequate blood flow. They can also advise you on how to properly care for your wound at home. In cases where a higher level of wound care is necessary, your podiatrist may be able to use skin or bone grafts, or perform reconstructive surgery to replace or rebuild infected or necrotic bones, tendons and tissue.
Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with one of our podiatrists from Total Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Limb Salvage?
Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.
However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated.
When body tissue is exposed to the environment, it is known as an open wound. Proper wound care is needed if there is bleeding, or if you have developed a broken bone. A closed wound occurs when there is bleeding under the surface of the skin and is referred to as a bruise. A break in the skin that comes from a fall or surgery is an open wound and requires immediate medical attention. The first step would be to stop the bleeding, followed by cleaning the wound. If the wound is severe antibiotics may be needed, and the wound can be dressed. It is important to change the dressing routinely, and this helps check if an infection has developed. Many diabetic patients are prone to developing wounds on the feet, and proper treatment must be provided. If you have a wound on your foot, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you the best remedy for wound care on the feet.
Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Total Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Wound Care?
Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic.
What Is the Importance of Wound Care?
While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.
How to Care for Wounds
The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.
Many people have trouble finding shoes wide enough to fit their feet. Stuffing your feet into shoes that are too narrow can cause numerous problems that include bunions, calluses, hammertoe, and crossover toe, when one toe sits on top of another because they are squeezed too tightly inside the shoe. Thankfully, there are a few things that can help people with wider feet. When shopping, ask if wide sizes are available. Wear the type of sock or foot covering you would be using for that particular shoe. Your toes should not feel cramped, and there should be some space between the tip of the shoe and your toes. If one foot is longer than the other, purchase the size to fit the larger foot. If you are experiencing pain in your feet, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist who can help you determine the cause and offer guidance about footwear.
Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Total Podiatry. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Getting the Right Shoe Size
There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.
- When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
- Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
- Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
- Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
- If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes
As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.
Ingrown toenails can be painful and can make wearing shoes or walking uncomfortable. Seek professional help if you believe you've developed an ingrown toenail and be treated safely.
A broken toe is often uncomfortable. It can happen as a result of stubbing your toe against a piece of furniture, or from a heavy object dropping on it. The toes consist of two or three bones that are small and can be fragile. Some of the symptoms that many patients experience with a broken toe include pain, swelling, and bruising. It can be difficult to walk, and crutches may need to be used. If the fracture is mild, buddy taping may also be effective. This is accomplished by taping the broken toe to the toe next to it. This is helpful in providing the necessary stability as the healing process occurs. Some broken toes can be severe. If you are struggling with a broken toe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Total Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What to Know About a Broken Toe
Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
- Throbbing pain
- Bruising on the skin and toenail
- The inability to move the toe
- Toe appears crooked or disfigured
- Tingling or numbness in the toe
Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.
Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.