Approximately 1.2 million men and women with diabetes develop painful ulcers on their feet every year, significantly increasing their risk of amputation and hospitalization. Podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM offers specialized foot care services for people with diabetes -- such as wound care and amputation prevention -- at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle. Protect your health and take care of your feet by calling the office in Mission Viejo, California or scheduling an appointment online.
Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds on the bottom of your feet, often under your big toes or the balls of your feet. When left untreated, these ulcers can lead to serious health complications including amputation.
Of the 15% of people with diabetes who develop foot ulcers, as many as 24% end up having an amputation. But thankfully, with proper foot care, diabetic foot ulcers are preventable.
Foot ulcers can occur in anyone who has diabetes, but several factors increase your risks, including:
Diabetic foot ulcers are also more common in older men, Native Americans, African Americans, and people of Hispanic heritage.
Diabetic foot ulcers develop for several reasons, primarily because of reduced sensations in the feet due to nerve damage and poor circulation.
Nerve damage, also called neuropathy, is a common complication of diabetes. After years of elevated blood sugar levels, nerve damage can reduce or eliminate any feeling in the feet. Without this sensitivity, problems with your feet can arise without you noticing them.
Besides neuropathy, poor circulation further complicates foot problems. When there’s reduced blood flow to your extremities, it decreases your body’s ability to heal and increases your risk of infection.
Other causes of diabetic foot wounds include:
Over time, even the smallest issue can grow into a severe foot ulcer, so it’s vital to seek wound care immediately.
The goal of diabetic wound care management is to heal the site as quickly as possible and reduce the risk of infection. Dr. Rambacher is a Fellow of the American Professional Wound Care Association® and has advanced training in this area of foot care. He offers specialized treatments, including:
Dr. Rambacher also uses braces or orthotics to reduce pressure in the wound area while it heals and to prevent recurrence. In some cases, he treats diabetic foot ulcers using surgical skin grafting.
To learn more about wound care and amputation prevention, call Podiatry Hotline Inc., or schedule an appointment online.