Amputation could have been avoided with better care

Minor trauma that leads to a persistent wound can result in amputation if not detected early, as one individual with diabetes discovered. According to a 2013 article by CBC News on cbc.ca, “Mary Anne Kecskemethy had one foot amputated for diabetic ulcers.” At the time of writing, she also had more lesions on her leg and her other foot. But this was not an isolated incident. A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that compromised wounds were a big issue in Canada.

Nerve damage in the feet is a complication of diabetes that can lead to diabetics being unable to feel trauma to their feet. Poor circulation associated with diabetes means cuts and blisters that are not detected can get infected causing breakdown of the skin, ulceration and worse—a non-healing ulcer can result in amputation.

If you are a diabetic, you would be wise to get educated by a podiatrist because he can explain what to look out for and can intervene with appropriate treatment when necessary. Even a seemingly simple problem, like an ingrown toenail, can be your downfall. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can rapidly become infected. Podiatrists can show you the correct way to cut your nails and can prevent the infection from reaching a critical point. If necessary, your podiatrist can remove the offending part of your toenail under a local anaesthetic and can use laser to prevent further complications.

Your problems may also start with a deformed toe that may have been caused by poor fitting shoes. Toes that are crooked could be bunions, hammer toes, or claw toes and the protruding joints may rub on your shoes leading to corns and calluses. Your podiatrist can treat the offending lesion and may use deflective padding, orthotics, or shoe modifications to prevent recurrence. If your condition is more advanced, your podiatrist may surgically correct the deformed toe.

If you have diabetes, take your condition seriously and see a podiatrist for proper care and management of your feet.