Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention
Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.
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What is Charcot Foot?
Those with diabetes often suffer from neuropathy, and the resulting loss of sensation can mean acquiring a foot injury without even realizing it. If you then continue to walk on the injured bones, it can cause them to progressively disintegrate, resulting in further injury and deformity. This condition is called Charcot foot, and if not caught early enough, it can lead to devastating consequences, including amputation.
That’s why, if you have diabetes, it is important to keep a close eye on your feet. Check them every day for any signs of swelling, redness, or deformities. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact Dr. Harvey Danciger at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment immediately. Early treatment is critical to minimize damage. Find out more about Charcot foot and other diabetic foot problems on our website, or by visiting our office in Palm Desert, CA. Let us help you before any injury becomes worse.
What causes diabetic nerve pain?
Diabetic nerve pain stems from a condition called neuropathy. This is a common condition with diabetes in which nerves become damaged. High glucose levels can damage the walls of the small blood vessels that nourish the nerves in your body. The result is destroyed nerve cells, which can lead to pain and a variety of other symptoms. Diabetic neuropathy most often impacts the nerves in the legs and the feet. Not controlling your blood glucose levels increases your risk for neuropathy, as well as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Symptoms of neuropathy include burning, tingling, loss of sensation, sharp pain, sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, ulcers, and infections. Please contact our office as soon as possible if you have diabetes and are experiencing any one of these symptoms. Make an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger by calling our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108.
What are the symptoms of nerve damage from diabetes?
It seems the most common symptom of nerve damage in diabetics is numbness. This can be troubling because with this loss of sensation you are more likely to develop ulcers on your feet which can result in infection and amputation.
Numbness is not the only symptoms of neuropathy however.
Early symptoms may be described as:
- Ants crawling on the skin
- Pins and needles
- Tight, pulling feeling
- Sharp, electric sensations
Symptoms can be worse at night people tell us.
People may also have balance issues because the muscles can become weak making walking difficult and getting out of a chair a problem.
If you are having any symptoms of neuropathy, the earlier you are diagnosed the better off you are. Call our office for an appointment. (760) 568-0108
What types of shoe inserts should a diabetic buy?
We are extremely diligent when caring for the foot and ankle needs of our patients with diabetes. No one should ignore a foot or ankle problem, but the stakes are much higher for a diabetic. Nerve damage and poor circulation can turn a small problem into a serious one very quickly making the right type of care imperative.
One of the ways we address diabetic foot problems is with a custom made orthotic designed from a mold of your foot. These are extremely helpful in preventing foot problems. They support and stabilize your feet and distribute pressure so it is not concentrated in one area, which is what can cause an ulcer to develop. Orthotics can make it more comfortable to walk, stand, stay active, and prevent injury.
Remember, over-the-counter shoe inserts are a “one size fits all” option that may be detrimental to your foot health. Call our office today at (760) 568-0108 to discuss getting custom inserts, and how they can benefit you.
Why is the risk of infection higher with diabetes?
The increased risk of infection with diabetes has to do with poor circulation and neuropathy (nerve damage). High glucose levels can injure nerve fibers in your feet, which in turn inhibits your ability to feel pain, heat or cold. This loss of sensation increases your risk for infection as you may not be aware when an injury occurs.
Glucose levels can also cause blood vessels to narrow which hinders circulation. Once an injury has occurred, poor blood flow often slows down the healing process. When a wound remains unhealed, the risk for infection is highly increased especially when a patient is unaware of the problem. A foot ulcer is a common condition of the diabetic foot.
If you have diabetes, inspect your feet every day. Even the smallest of symptoms or injuries warrants a call to Dr. Danciger. An infection can spread quickly and when circulation is poor and healing time is longer than usual, you could be facing a serious situation. Don’t wait – make an appointment today by calling our office at (760) 568-0108 or request one on our homepage.
How does diabetes affect wound healing?
About 45% of the limb amputations that occur in the U.S are done on people with diabetes. Having diabetes significantly impacts how wounds are able to heal. A loss of sensation in your feet, called neuropathy, is a common factor in the development of ulcers and the healing process. When nerve damage diminishes your ability to detect small wounds, they can quickly become serious open sores such as ulcers. Not having the ability to feel pain, an ulcer can continue to get worse, especially if you are not taking diligent care of your feet on a daily basis.
High blood glucose levels can stiffen arteries which then constrict impair the amount of oxygen and nutrients that need to get to the wound. This highly compromises the healing process. When you have diabetes, it also common to have a weakened immune system. When it comes to ulcers, a weak immune has trouble fighting the infection.
Dr. Harvey Danciger, foot specialist in Palm Desert, CA is highly involved with each one of his patients with diabetes. To avoid ulcers in the first place, diligent foot care is essential. If you are suffering with a wound that is not healing, do not delay in seeking treatment to avoid what could be very serious complications. Make an appointment to have your foot health checked or to receive treatment for an ulcer that won’t heal. Call our podiatric office at (760) 568-0108.
How do you treat diabetic foot ulcers?
When you have diabetes, proper treatment of any foot problems is crucial to maintain foot health. There are about 25 million Americans who have diabetes and around 15% will deal with foot ulcers.
A diabetic foot ulcer is very serious as it can lead to infection and amputation if not properly cared for. Ulcers can drastically affect a patient’s life, especially when they are non-healing. Thankfully there are many effective treatments available that promote healing and decrease the risk of further injury.
Debridement is when dead skin and tissue is removed from around the ulcer to be able to see it and treat it. Sometimes foot ulcers are a result of too much pressure. Wearing special shoes, braces or a cast to take the pressure off the ulcer may be needed.
One advanced treatment involves skin substitutes where tissues are placed over the wounds to help the growth of healthy skin. Plastic surgery using grafting techniques has been very effective with many patients.
The patient has a responsibility in aiding the treatment process as well. Maintaining normal blood sugar levels, keeping the wound clean and bandaged staying off of the foot as much as possible are all important steps in the healing process.
Proper diabetic foot care is absolutely essential to prevent serious complications. Take the first step toward foot health by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA.