Diabetic Foot Care
However, a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to upend your life, and it doesn’t mean you can’t 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 care designed to keep your feet healthy.
How 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.
Either complication can pose issues, but together they significantly increase your injury risk. Damage to nerves reduces sensation in your feet, and that can make ordinarily painful problems like blisters and cuts easy to ignore. And without strong circulation, your body’s ability to close wounds, heal injuries, and fight infection is reduced.
As a result, even minor injuries may escape detection long enough for severe complications to develop. This can include wounds that don’t heal, infections that reach the bone, or even progressive deformities in the shape of your feet. The longer you wait to receive care, the more likely you may require extensive surgery—or an amputation.
Proactive Care Prevents Problems
People who have diabetes should schedule a thorough foot exam with a foot expert at least once per year. (More frequent appointments may be recommended if you have a history of foot problems, such as corns or calluses, fungal nails, or wounds.) We’ll check your feet for any issues and provide any maintenance care you may need. If necessary, we may refer you to an appropriate neurologist or vascular surgeon.
If it’s 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.
Daily Home Care
The most important member of your diabetic care team is you! Managing your condition by monitoring and controlling your sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol will significantly lower your risk of nerve damage and poor circulation in your feet.
You should give your feet a full examination each day to check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, nail problems, temperature variation, or other unusual signs. Do this at a regular time in a well-lit room, and use a mirror or enlist a loved one or friend if you need help. If you notice any sores or other injuries that aren’t healing or look infected, make an appointment with our team immediately.
Check out the video for foot care tips for those with Diabetes from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Diabetic Wound Care
Unfortunately, even with vigilant care, sometimes wounds develop that must be addressed.
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.
The wound care treatment process involves:
- Offloading—make sure you avoid putting weight or pressure on your wound.
- 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.
While you’re recovering, it will be extremely important to keep weight off your foot; crutches, braces, or even a wheelchair may need to be used for a time. You should also take care 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 Care for Diabetic Feet
Whether you just need a checkup and a new pair of diabetic shoes, or require more aggressive treatment for nerve damage or 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. We want to help you keep your feet around and in great shape throughout your entire lifetime!
If you have an existing diabetic foot concern, or you’re just overdue for your annual checkup, please give us a call today at 719-266-5000.
Note: Please do not use the contact form to send extensive or Protected Health Information (PHI). Please phone our office instead.