About the disease
Diabetic foot is the most common complication of diabetes. It is a damage of nerve endings of the foot, caused by abnormal microvascular circulation. It is common in the first and second types of diabetes mellitus. It can develop if a patient with high blood sugar had sore or blister on his foot and did not feel it on time due to reduced nerve endings sensibility. Such untreated sores and blisters which very often patients do not even notice can lead to serious infections. In severe cases patients have to undergo amputation, because their feet stop receiving oxygen and blood from the blood vessels.
Surgery in this case is done to stop necrotizing process of cells which can spread to other parts of the body. Nevertheless, amputation is performed only in rare cases and modern treatment techniques allow doctors to stop damaging process when foot still has active nerve endings. Patients who have diabetes and heart problems need to take extra care of their feet to avoid infections and traumas, which can damage tissues and obstruct the blood flow.
According to DiabetesJournal.org, 55.5% of patients who had to undergo amputation suffered from peripheral arterial disease, 51.4% had ankle-brachial pressure index and 53% were on dialysis.
- Soft-tissue infections
- Reduced sensitivity of leg
- Frequent tiredness
- Inability to walk long distances
- Red marks on the leg
- Extreme tenderness of skin
- Deep ulcers
- General examination includes sensitivity test of nerve endings, examination of skin and physical test when patient needs to bend his leg in different directions.
- Microbiological investigations can detect and diagnose various infections on a deeper level and determine their nature.
- Biopsy of tissue can diagnose ulcers, which cannot be seen on the surface.
- Imaging tests show if soft-tissue lesions were damaged by inefficient microvascular circulation.
- Open endarterectomy or angioplasty is recommended for patients who have heart problem additionally to diabetes. During this procedure doctor reaches an artery which prevents blood flow and oxygen supply to the leg and widens it.
- Shunting with imposition of interponate is a procedure when doctor places hollow tube into the blood vessel to normalize the blood flow and perform drainage of abscessed tissue.
- Conservative treatment includes eradication of harmful bacteria that cause infections, removal of necrotic tissue, so that it will not spread further and control of affection to eliminate the danger they can impose.
Overall, diabetic foot treatment has favorable prognosis and after receiving it a person needs to avoid further traumas of feet and check regularly his blood sugar.