Diabetes is a disease that affects more than 15 million people in the United States. Diabetes causes nerve damage and poor blood circulation, which can lead to extreme foot complications. Although there are a wide variety of treatment options for a diabetic foot complication, the best course of action is to prevent ailments before they occur. This can be done by carefully inspecting your feet each night, as damaged nerves can block pain receptors in your brain from alerting you to a sore or cut on you foot.
Causes of Diabetic Foot Complications
Diabetic foot problems are usually the result of an untreated or unrecognized injury on a person’s foot. These include untreated:
- Broken bones
- Infections under the toenail
Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Complications
- Swelling of the foot without an obvious injury
- Redness or discoloration of the foot
- Dull, chronic pain in the foot
- Deformed foot appearance
Depending on the severity of the complication, your doctor might recommend a non-surgical procedure. Some common non-surgical treatments include
- On-site antibiotics
- Oral antibiotics
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
All of the non-surgical treatments act in the same manner by helping regenerate healthy cells. In addition to non-surgical treatment, your doctor can recommend education or medication management programs to help prevent complications from developing in the first place.
If your diabetic foot complication is severe, the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure. This can help eliminate the infection and prevent a full-site amputation if the complication were to worsen.
Because there are so many different complications that can occur in a diabetic foot, the surgical options vary greatly. Some types of surgical procedures for diabetic foot complications include:
- Heel tightness correction – If your experience tightness in your heel, it may be affecting your gait, which in turn could leave you more susceptible to ulcer formation. In this type of operation, the doctor would lengthen your Achilles tendon to decrease pressure on the midfoot and front of the foot.
- Stable deformity – If you are experiencing pain due to a bony prominence on your foot, your doctor will examine to determine if it is considered “stable”. If your foot will not become unstable by removing the protuberance, your doctor will simply remove the painful bone.
- Unstable deformity – If it is determined that your ankle or foot is too unstable to undergo a simple removal of the bony prominence in your foot, your doctor will recommend ankle fusion and repositioning.
- Fractures – If you are dealing with a fracture of break in the bone, you will likely need plates or screws inserted into your foot. The insertion of hardware will stabilize and loose particles.