Along with warmer spring weather comes additional foot hazards for people with diabetes. A blister from a pair of strappy sandals or stepping barefoot on a hidden stone in the grass may not seem like a big deal to most people, but for people with diabetes, it can lead to a non-healing ulcer, gangrene, or even amputation. NYC podiatrists at The Center For Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine have these tips for springing into the warm season safely.
The normal phases of healing are: injury, inflammation, proliferation of cells, and remodeling. Chronic injuries get stuck at the inflammatory stage and cannot progress toward repairing. Treatment is complex, though. It’s about more than just getting inflammation under control, explain the foot doctors at The Center For Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC.
“There are many types of medications designed to handle inflammation,” explains Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, “but we find the application of grafting and injection therapy containing natural healing factors to have more dramatic effect on the repair process.” EpiFix is one of the new graft products revolutionizing diabetes foot care.
Hispanics and Latinos make up 27.5% of New York City’s population. This group suffers from foot pain and health issues like any other, yet they tend to be more reluctant to seek professional help. The first step toward wellness is asking your primary doctor to check your feet and give you a referral to a foot and ankle specialist who can offer state-of-the-art care. Dr. Mariola Rivera, DPM is a friend to Hispanics and Latinos in the New York City area who are looking for a Spanish-speaking, board-certified podiatrist to add to their healthcare team.
Diagnostic tests are crucial to proper foot treatment and prevention strategies. If only we podiatrists could look into crystal balls to predict which diabetic patients will develop neuropathy or ulcers! A new diabetes test shows some promise by using ultrasound to detect soft tissue stiffness in the heel pad, which appears to be predictive of ulcer formation.
Diabetes is not just stressful and expensive for families, but for society at large.
Maybe you knew that. But did you know many of these expenses are preventable?
In Australia, more than 1 million people suffer from diabetes—which can lead to stroke, eye damage, and foot disease if not well-managed. Researchers recently estimated that the cost of hospitalization from diabetic foot disease costs Aussies $350 million per year. And here in America, there are roughly 29 million diabetics, with 1.7 million new patients added to the pool each year. As diabetes threatens to become a global epidemic, we need to take a serious look at preventative measures.
If you’re diabetic, your feet may feel like a time bomb. They pose an ever-present threat of crippling disability. At the clinic, we often see cuts and scratches that have turned into ulcers, threatening our patients’ mobility and very limbs. Other times, our diabetic patients suffer from chronic foot pain, edema, gout, or the numbness and tingling of peripheral neuropathy. That’s why we were so pleased to hear that the Society for Vascular Surgery has teamed up with the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Society for Vascular Medicine to publish the first-ever clinical guidelines for diabetic foot treatment.
If you have poor foot circulation, should you see a podiatrist? The short answer is yes. You shouldn’t ignore circulatory problems, as they pose a serious threat to your health and mobility. If you suffer from a condition that affects circulation – like diabetes, C.O.P.D, or hypothyroidism – we may also advise you to see a pulmonary specialist to ensure you’re receiving holistic health care. But a podiatrist can advise you on a wide range of treatments specific to your lower extremities, helping you keep your feet pain-free.
“Good nutrition is often the first line of defense to avoid peripheral neuropathy,” according to an article in Podiatry Today. You may not expect to hear nutrition advice coming from your podiatrist, but we take a very holistic view of foot health here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City, combining the latest technology, medications and standard foot and ankle treatments with homeopathic remedies, home care routines, and physical therapy. Preventing excess sugar and cholesterol from entering the bloodstream can go a long way in assuring healthy, normal nerve function in the feet.
Diabetic foot pain is one of the many conditions we treat here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Occasionally, we have patients who come in and ask for a prescription that will take the pain away. We understand the agony many people face. Some call it a “burning” or “tingling.” Others say their feet have “gone numb” or say it feels like “walking on marbles.” While a general practitioner may be quick to dole out the medication, most people come to specialists because they’re unhappy with the care they’ve previously received and are looking for more comprehensive care.
You may have heard a rumor going around that “diabetics get their shoes for free,” thanks to Medicare. Studies have shown that up to 25% of diabetics will suffer some type of problem with their feet.1http://www.apexfoot.com/medicare/ Furthermore, it’s been estimated that the cost of diabetic foot ulcers is about $9 billion per year, so it makes sense to spend a little money toward the prevention of serious diabetes foot issues.2http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/821908 The Therapeutic Shoe Bill was enacted by Congress in 1993 to provide adequate footwear and inserts for diabetics who qualify under Medicare Part B benefits. Of course, as with any freebie, there are always caveats and stipulations when it comes to getting your free slice of pie.
“I am so grateful for having had Dr. Geldwert perform bunion surgery on both of my feet. I have complete confidence in him and continue to see him for other sports related injuries. I was cautious about having surgery for the first time, but his knowledge, patience, and skill made me completely comfortable in trusting him. And I couldn’t be any happier with the results!! When anything else feels wrong with my feet, I love that I now know to go immediately to him. He is my top choice for anyone searching for the best foot fixer/surgeon/sports doctor in NYC! Thank you, Dr. Geldwert!!!”
– J. M., Manhattan, NY
Manhattan Office 111 East 88th Street New York, NY 10128 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Westchester Office 10 Mitchell Place Suite 105 White Plains, NY 10601 (914) 328-3400 See map here
Manhattan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine 57 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Dr. Josef J. Geldwert DPM, Dr. Katherine Lai DPM, Dr. Ryan Minara, DPM, and Dr. Mariola Rivera DPM serving Westchester County, White Plains, Ardsley, Bronxville, Harrison NY, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Chappaqua, and the surrounding area.
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