If you have diabetes, treatment for your feet should be absolutely preventative. The goal needs to be taking proper care of your feet now to help prevent very dangerous problems and consequences in the future.
At Foot & Ankle Clinics of Arizona, we are committed to working with patients to provide the best in preventative diabetic foot care, including vascular monitoring and diabetic shoe programs.
Why Diabetes Is So Dangerous to Feet
The effects of diabetes on the feet can progressively creep over time, leading to dangerous situations a patient might not have been prepared for.
Risk comes in the form of two problems: reduced circulation to the feet and nerve damage within the feet.
- Reduced circulation means the feet are receiving less of the oxygen and vital nutrients they need to conduct repairs. Wounds and sores begin to heal more slowly, or not at all without intervention.
- Nerve damage leads to a gradual lessening of sensation in the feet, to the point where a wound can develop and is not even felt.
Together, these elements can lead to situations where the foot is breaking down and wounds are growing worse, but the patient is not even aware it is happening. This is how ulcers develop, infections set in, and amputations become necessary to save a patient’s life.
We never want a patient to reach a point where that happens.
While wound treatment is provided when needed, the best diabetic foot care anyone can ever provide is that which keeps dangerous wounds and ulcers from happening in the first place.
We are proud to have our own vascular testing lab and provide our patients vascular screening services without the need to travel elsewhere. These services can monitor the strength of circulation to and throughout your feet, providing us advance notice of developing problems that need to be addressed.
We also have an in-office diabetic shoe program to provide patients with customized, comfortable footwear that reduces the risks of problems. These shoes are specifically designed to reduce friction, provide cushioning, and correct alignment as necessary to take additional stress off “hot spots.”
There is also a heavy element of personal involvement in good diabetic foot care. This includes a commitment to daily foot inspections at home to discover developing sores or abnormalities that should be treated.
The best times to conduct a daily inspection are naturally occurring opportunities like getting out of the shower or just before bed. You should look for anything out of the ordinary, such as:
- Areas of redness or discoloration
- Areas of pain
- Ingrown toenails
- Corns or calluses
If you find something, give us a call and let us know. We may advise you to keep an eye on things or come on in so we can have a closer look and provide treatment ourselves. We can advise you on additional recommendations for preventative care at home, and you will likely come to know and learn to prevent risks that may be unique to you.
Don’t Handle Diabetic Care Alone
A combination of daily personal attention and regular professional care is the best plan for helping prevent the complications of diabetes from ruining your feet and mobility.
It is never too early to begin preventative care. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our offices at (480) 917-2300 or use our online scheduling service.
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