If you have diabetes, make time to schedule regular foot exams with your foot and ankle surgeon to help keep your feet healthy. Diabetic feet are vulnerable to ulcerations and other serious foot conditions, such as Charcot foot, caused by poor circulation in the lower limbs and reduced nerve sensation. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to infection, deformity or foot amputation.
During your foot exam, your foot and ankle surgeon will assess your feet for nerve sensation, skin irregularities (corns, calluses, punctures and redness), swelling, drainage and any unnatural pressure points prone to ulceration. If the surgeon finds any pre-ulcerative conditions, he or she will begin prompt treatment to prevent any wounds from occurring.
In between exams, be sure to:
- Inspect your feet daily for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling or nail problems.
- Gently cleanse your feet each day with soap and lukewarm water.
- Regularly moisturize your feet to avoid itching or cracking.
If your foot changes shape or if you notice any increased warmth, redness, pain, blisters or bleeding, stay off your foot, and make an appointment with your foot and ankle surgeon as soon as possible to be evaluated. Walking on an injured foot or delaying treatment may lead to serious consequences.