If you have diabetes, your feet need special care to prevent serious complications, like an amputation. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular diabetic foot exams at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center (OFAC) in Falls Church and Arlington, Virginia. For high-quality diabetic foot care in the Washington, DC, area, call or request an appointment online today.
When you have diabetes, seemingly minor foot problems, like an open wound or ingrown toenail, can escalate into major health issues. Diabetes affects your feet in two main ways:
Between 60-70% of people with diabetes develop neuropathy. This nerve damage can occur anywhere in your body, but the nerves of your feet and legs are the most commonly affected.
Nerve damage may reduce your ability to feel sensations like heat, cold, or pain. While resistance to pain may sound like an advantage, it’s actually a big health risk. Without pain perception, you may not realize you have a wound or cut until it develops into a serious infection, like gangrene.
Reduced blood flow to your feet and legs also contribute to diabetic foot problems. Without adequate nutrients from your blood, a small wound or blister may progress into an ulcer or serious infection in a matter of days.
The providers at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center are trained to manage diabetic feet. They educate you on steps you can take at home to care for your feet, including:
They also recommend proper shoes to protect your feet and may prescribe custom orthotics to reduce pressure spots. Medicare covers the cost of one set of orthotic shoes per year and up to three pairs of orthotics for people with diabetes.
It’s important to visit the team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center at least once per year for an annual diabetic foot exam. You should also schedule an appointment as soon as you notice changes to your feet, including:
Prompt treatment of minor foot concerns reduces your risk of serious problems, like infection and amputation.
For expert diabetic foot care, call Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center or request an appointment online today.