Do you know the signs that may mean you have a diabetic ulcer? Prompt identification and treatment can help you avoid serious infections that may threaten your foot or leg. Your Philadelphia, PA, and Mount Laurel, Bordentown, and Columbus, NJ, podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Group offer effective treatments for diabetic ulcers and other foot and ankle conditions.
What is a diabetic ulcer?
Diabetic ulcers are open sores that develop on the bottoms of your feet. In some cases, ulcers may be hidden under calluses, making them more difficult to detect. Signs and symptoms of diabetic ulcers may include:
- Pain when pressure is applied to the sore or callus (If you have diabetic neuropathy in your feet, you may not be able to feel pain, even though you have an ulcer.)
- Swelling, redness, and warmth around the ulcer
- Foul odor
- Fever and chills
What causes the ulcers?
Even minor cuts or scratches can lead to ulcers if you have diabetes, particularly if the disease isn't well controlled. Blisters and calluses may have been minor issues before you developed diabetes, but that shouldn't be ignored now. A burst blister or the constant pressure from a callus can easily lead to an ulcer. Unfortunately, if you can't feel your feet due to neuropathy, you may not realize that you have a problem.
Daily self-exams are very important and can help you avoid serious infections. Call your Philadelphia, Mount Laurel, Bordentown, or Columbus foot doctor if you notice any of these signs or symptoms during your exam:
- Broken skin
- Skin that feels hot or cold to the touch
- Redness or swelling
- Foot, ankle, or leg pain
- Ingrown toenails
- Toenail fungus
- Corns and calluses
How are diabetic ulcers treated?
Your foot doctor will clean your wound, teach you how to use protective dressings, and prescribe antibiotics. Given the importance of eliminating pressure on your foot while the ulcer heals, your podiatrist may also recommend using a brace or a pair of special shoes to help hasten healing. Although surgery isn't usually needed, it may be required to decrease pressure on the ulcer in some cases. Keeping your blood sugar level under control is also an important factor in healing.
Concerned? Give us a call!
Are you concerned about a diabetic ulcer or other foot or ankle problem? Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Group by calling (215) 332-5300 for the Philadelphia, PA, office, (856) 234-0195 for the Mount Laurel, NJ, office, (609) 291-0960 for the Bordentown, NJ, office or (609) 298-7000 for the Columbus, NJ, office.
It’s important to get to the root of your foot pain and our podiatrists in Mount Laurel, Philadelphia, Bordentown, and Columbus are here to help.
There are countless reasons why your feet or ankles may be causing you trouble. Of course, since we have to keep moving day in and day out, you may find that your pain is getting in the way of your daily activities. If this is the case, it may be time to sit down with one of our foot doctors at The Foot and Ankle Group in Mount Laurel, Philadelphia, Bordentown, and Columbus, NJ to find out what’s going on.
More about Foot Pain
Foot pain can originate anywhere from the heel and arches to the ball of the foot and the toes. The location of the pain is one of the best ways for our Philadelphia podiatrists to figure out what’s going on. For example, heel pain is often caused by an inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis. By pinpointing where the pain is and what the pain feels like, we can often detect some of these causes through a simple physical exam and by asking you specific questions.
The most common causes of foot and ankle pain include,
- Strains and sprains
- Fracture or break
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ruptured Achilles tendon
- Bone spur
- Ingrown toenail
- Morton’s neuroma
- Diabetic neuropathy (can also cause tingling and numbness in the extremities)
These are only some of the causes of foot and ankle pain, and it’s nearly impossible to figure out what’s going on without a proper medical evaluation.
When to See a Podiatrist
While some aches and pains every once in a while may not be cause for concern, it’s certainly important to know when it’s time to see a specialist for more thorough and comprehensive care. Here’s when to see a podiatrist,
- Your pain is severe
- Your pain is getting worse or isn’t responding to rest and at-home care
- There is a painful lump or bump
- You notice one foot is flatter than the other (a warning sign of a tendon rupture)
- Pain that’s accompanied by an open wound or sore
- Foot discoloration
- Pain and swelling in just one foot
- Burning, tingling or numbness (signs of neuropathy)
- Pain that gets worse when elevating the legs
- Pain that gets worse when you move around (signs of a stress fracture)
It’s important that you don’t ignore foot pain or other symptoms when our podiatry specialists can easily give you the care you need to get back on your feet. The Foot & Ankle Group offers locations in Mount Laurel ((856) 234-0195), Philadelphia ((215) 332-5300), Bordentown ((609) 291-0960), and Columbus, NJ ((609) 298-7000), to serve you.
Heel pain affects many people and can range from mild to moderate, causing various severities of issues standing or walking at any stage. However, knowing about the common causes of heel pain and learning how to identify its signs and symptoms can help you get the help you need as soon as possible. Find out more about heel pain with your podiatrist at The Foot and Ankle Group in Mount Laurel, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Bordentown, NJ, and Columbus, NJ.
Where does my heel pain come from?
Heel pain has many sources, but some common causes include:
- plantar fasciitis
- stress fracture
- tarsal tunnel syndrome
- heel spur
- Achilles tendonitis
- injury or trauma
Diagnosing Heel Pain
Your foot doctor diagnoses the cause of heel pain during a physical examination at their office. They will begin by visually inspecting the foot and searching for any abnormalities, symptoms, or underlying conditions. They may take an x-ray to help further explore the cause of your heel pain. Often, heel pain comes from an underlying condition but can occur due to simple overuse or a strain. Your doctor will help you find the root of your heel pain to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Treating Heel Pain in Mount Laurel, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Bordentown, NJ, and Columbus, NJ
Your podiatrist will treat your heel pain depending on its cause. In some cases, the RICE method is enough to help cure heel pain. This method involves resting as much as possible, icing the foot several times daily, using compression wraps to help control swelling, and elevating the foot over the heart. However, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, prescription medications, physical therapy, injection therapy, or even surgery depending on your condition.
For more information on heel pain, please contact your podiatrist at The Foot and Ankle Group in Mount Laurel, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Bordentown, NJ, and Columbus, NJ. Call to schedule your appointment today!
- Mount Laurel, NJ: (856) 234-0195
- Philadelphia, PA: (215) 332-5300
- Bordentown, NJ: (609) 291-0960
- Columbus, NJ: (609) 298-7000
You've experienced stabbing, shooting pain in your feet for months, and you notice tingling and numbness, too. Could this be neuropathy? Check with your primary care physician to see if you have diabetes or other autoimmune problem, and then contact the Foot and Ankle Group in Philadelphia for treatment of your neuropathy. Avoid the disability and lifestyle-limiting symptoms of this nerve condition. Your team of eight podiatrists are experts in diseases, conditions, and deformities of the foot and ankle, and they can help.
What is neuropathy?
It's an irritation and deterioration of the peripheral nerves associated with the feet and hands. With neuropathy, comes miscommunication with the central nervous system and intermittent to continuous symptoms of:
- Loss of movement and coordination
- Loss of sensation leading to injury
Neuropathy frequently stems from serious health conditions such as:
- Diabetes, and its characteristic blood sugar fluctuations
- Arthritis and its associated joint breakdown and inflammation
- Heredity (it can run in families)
Some cancer therapy medications also damage peripheral nerves, says the American Podiatric Medical Association. However, the APMA stresses that diabetes is the most common cause. Research shows that 60 to 70 percent of diabetics suffer from some degree of neuropathy.
If you have peripheral neuropathy...
See your podiatrist in Philadelphia or at one of the other three locations of the Foot and Ankle Group. Your foot doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and medications. Plus, the doctor will inspect your feet, ask you to walk and note your range of motion.
Many people benefit from an individualized treatment plan to control their symptoms. Interventions may include:
- Over-the-counter NSAIDS to reduce inflammation and pain
- Prescription steroids to control inflammation
- TENS treatments (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) performed in-office
- Strict blood sugar control
People with diabetes benefit from the communication between the professional team at the Foot and Ankle Group and primary care physicians. Together with patients, they formulate ways to lower blood sugars to a healthy level, monitor feet for ulcer formation, encourage a program of regular exercise and more.
Your podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Group have a wealth of knowledge regarding the causes and treatments of peripheral neuropathy. Routine office visits are a must. To arrange yours, please contact one of our four locations in the Philadelphia area. We have early morning and evening hours for your convenience.
Find out how to prevent foot complications from happening to you.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes the first thing you want to do is work with your doctor to create a treatment plan that will keep your blood sugar in check. Making sure your blood sugar is within a healthy range is key to preventing health problems. Of course, one of the most commonly affected areas of the body when you have diabetes is your feet. Our Philadelphia, PA, podiatrists are here to tell you what you can do to prevent diabetic-related foot complications.
Examine Feet Daily
The only way you are going to know if there is a problem with your feet is if you are checking them out thoroughly every day to look for symptoms such as swelling, redness, tenderness to the touch, corns and calluses, cuts, open wounds and other problems that could easily turn more serious. Detecting these problems now and getting the proper care from our Philadelphia foot doctor could prevent serious complications from happening.
Stay Physically Active
One way to keep your blood sugar levels in check is to get up and moving; however, we understand that if you are new to a workout routine you may want to sit down and talk to us about how to start. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure you have the right shoes and perhaps even custom orthotics to ensure that your feet don’t cause you problems as you begin your new workout regimen.
Keep Feet Clean
Your feet, just like the rest of you, need to be properly cleaned every day. When you get in the shower or the tub make sure you are using soap and water to clean every area of your feet, including between toes. This is a surefire way to get rid of bacteria responsible for infections such as athlete’s foot. Once you get out of the shower, make sure to completely and thoroughly dry off your feet.
Always Wear Shoes
Going barefoot is a bad idea when you have diabetes. This is because a lot of people with diabetes also have some degree of nerve damage in their feet and don’t know when they’ve stepped on something that could cause a foot injury. Wearing socks and shoes ensures that you keep your feet free from cuts, sores and wounds.
Trim Your Toenail
Long toenails can also increase your chances for ingrown toenails. To prevent this problem it’s important to keep your toenails trimmed regularly. Toenails should be trimmed straight across (never at an angle) and should be level with the tips of your toes. Toenails that are trimmed too low are also at risk for an ingrown toenail. Having trouble trimming your nails yourself? No problem; our podiatrist can do that for you!
The Foot & Ankle Group in Philadelphia, PA, and Mount Laurel, Bordentown, and Columbus, NJ, is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with the proper foot and ankle care they need. If you have diabetes you may have questions along the way about your foot care regimen. Turn to our expert podiatric team anytime.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.