Podiatrist Visits Can Reduce Diabetic Foot Amputations By 50%, According To Study
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, June 17th, 2013
Often, discussions of diabetes and foot health go hand in hand. Diabetes inflicts damage upon a person’s blood vessels and nerves, especially if blood sugar is poorly managed. Nerve damage and reduced circulation in the feet can make it very difficult to tell if there is an injury. Slow wound healing can turn an ordinary blister or cut into a festering ulcer. For this reason, diabetic foot amputations are all too common.
“Diabetes is currently the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations,” reports Dr. Ryan Minara of The Center of Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. “Regular visits to your podiatrist will help identify potential problems before they can become limb threatening. Limb salvage is an integral part of podiatric services.”
Diabetic Foot Ulcers Are A Big Risk.
A large-scale study of 17,830 patients with diabetes by researchers at St. George’s University of London found that patients are more likely to die if they had a history of foot ulceration. There were 58 more deaths per 1,000 people each year, among those with ulcers. Furthermore, people with foot ulcers and diabetes were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and blood poisoning. Experts recommend that diabetics control their blood sugar, wear socks to prevent cuts, check their feet regularly, and see a podiatrist at least once a year.
Podiatrist Visits Can Reduce Diabetic Foot Amputations By 50%.
Right now, a person has a foot amputated every 30 seconds as a result of diabetes. A new study of 114 patients conducted by researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found that shoe inserts, simple interventions and regular checkups from a podiatrist can reduce the number of amputations by over 50 percent. “We found that good shoes and inserts can reduce pressure on the foot by 50% compared with going barefoot,” said doctoral student Ulla Tang. “Our conclusion at the end of one year is that all three types of inserts effectively distribute pressure under the sole in order to minimize the risk of ulcers.” Only 0.9 percent of the study participants developed foot ulcers during the first year, compared to 3-8 percent in diabetics not visiting a podiatrist.
Podiatrists For Diabetics Help In Many Ways.
A podiatrist will look over a person’s foot, assessing for cuts or damage. In addition, podiatrists can fit a person for custom orthotic shoe inserts. This specialized doctor can help patients choose the best shoe type to take pressure off the feet and learn how to do self-check-ups at home. Blisters, corns, calluses, hammertoes, ingrown toenails — all these issues can be covered during a consultation with a foot doctor. People who have no adverse symptoms are encouraged to call a podiatrist for preventative medical care. Here they can have all questions they may have about neuropathy or related illnesses answered.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.