When you have diabetes, you must take extra care to maintain good foot health. Because diabetes may compromise feeling in your feet, you may not notice minor problems like blisters and small wounds. In addition, diabetes contributes to poor circulation, which leads to slower wound healing. All this adds up to a situation where small problems can quickly turn into big problems, such as serious foot ulcers and skin infections.
Your podiatrist can treat most diabetic foot problems. Capable and compassionate podiatric medical teams clean, medicate and dress foot wounds and ulcers. If your wound is severe or slow to heal, you may need to see a wound specialist.
Some people with diabetes develop Charcot arthropathy, a condition in which repeated foot damage leads to fractures and dislocations of bones and joints and, eventually, a severely deformed foot. Because you may have little or no feeling in your feet, you might not notice or seek treatment for the early damage. If needed, your doctor may treat fractures with pins and wires along with an implantable electronic bone-growth stimulator. He or she might also suggest Charcot joint treatment.
If a foot wound does not respond to treatment or an infection threatens to spread to the rest of the body, it may be necessary to amputate the foot. This is usually a last-resort treatment; your podiatrist will consider all other treatment options before recommending amputation.
If you have diabetes, be sure to check your feet daily and tell your doctor right away about any changes you notice.