Diabetic Foot Care
A diabetes diagnosis can make you aware of significant risks to the health of your feet and ankles. Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of experiencing complications when they are injured or wounded. This makes it imperative to utilize procedures that prevent, detect, and treat cuts, blisters, or other injuries.
However, a diabetes diagnosis does not have to upend your life, and it does not mean you cannot have a lifetime of healthy feet and active living! At McVay Foot & Ankle, we specialize not only in providing direct care for ongoing concerns (such as diabetic wounds) but also in proactive diabetic foot care designed to keep your feet healthy.
The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care
Elevated blood sugar levels related to diabetes slow your circulation. This has several effects on your body, including weakened bones, nerve deterioration, and a compromised immune system. You are also more likely to develop an infection when you have a wound.
Why Diabetes Endangers Feet
Foot problems are incredibly common among people with diabetes chiefly because of two common complications—nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) and poor circulation.
Nerve damage frequently associated with diabetes reduces sensation throughout your feet. Problems that normally cause pain, like a cut or blister, may not be readily apparent. You may not notice that you have an open wound until it is infected and at risk for severe complications.
A compromised circulatory system means that your feet do not receive the blood, oxygen, and nutrients they need to heal your wounds and fight off infection.
These diabetes-related complications make you more likely to have wounds that do not heal and potentially cause dangerous infections. You are also at a higher risk of amputation, especially if you wait to seek medical attention for your wound.
How to Keep Your Feet Healthy
Prevention is key for diabetic foot care. Schedule an annual exam with our foot experts to ensure your feet are in good condition and manage any chronic issues. More frequent appointments may be recommended if you have a history of foot problems, such as corns or calluses, fungal nails, or wounds.
We will check your feet for any issues and provide any maintenance care you may need. If it is determined that you would benefit from custom orthotics or diabetic shoes to protect your feet, we can fit those at your appointment as well. We generally recommend that our patients receive a new pair of diabetic shoes and three (3) sets of insoles each year. This is covered by most major insurances; including Medicare.
Home Care for Your Feet
Home care is the essential component of healthy diabetic foot care. Make sure that your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol are controlled to minimize your risk of nerve damage and poor circulation.
Check your feet daily for cuts, nail problems, redness, wounds, swelling, or any changes in their appearance. Perform this daily examination in a well-lit room, and use a mirror as needed for a closer view. A loved one can also assist with your examination. If you notice any sores or other injuries that are not healing or look infected, make an appointment with our team immediately.
Check out the video for diabetic foot care tips from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Steps to Take for a Diabetic Wound Care
If you notice a wound or injury on your foot, make an appointment immediately. At McVay Foot & Ankle, we provide high-quality, in-office wound care for diabetic sores and ulcers. Due to faster availability and aggressive treatment protocols, we can often see you earlier and help you heal faster than you would by going to a local wound care center.
We will implement a care routine that helps you heal quickly. Your routine will likely include:
- Offloading: This is to make sure you are not putting weight or pressure on your wound. It will be extremely important to keep weight off your foot, so we might have you use crutches, braces, or even a wheelchair while your wound heals.
- Debridement: Our team will clean the wound of dead skin and tissue, dirt, and foreign debris so that it can heal properly.
- Medication: Various medicines (including antibiotics to deal with any infection) will be administered. We might prescribe some medications as well for you to take to fight any infections.
While you recover and heal, you need to keep your blood glucose within a healthy range. We will provide any instructions and supplies you need about cleaning and redressing the wound at appropriate intervals and will schedule any necessary follow-up appointments.
Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Care
Whether you just need a checkup and a new pair of diabetic shoes, require more aggressive treatment for nerve damage, or have an infected wound, the McVay Foot & Ankle team is here to keep your feet and legs as healthy and functional as possible, for as long as possible.
If you have an existing concern about your diabetic foot care, or you are just overdue for your annual checkup, please give us a call today at 719-266-5000, or fill out our online contact form. We want to help you keep your feet around and in great shape throughout your entire lifetime!
Note: Please do not use the contact form to send extensive or Protected Health Information (PHI). Please phone our office instead.