Find out the best way to prevent diabetic ulcers from happening to you.
What is a diabetic foot ulcer and how do you know what to look for if you suspect that you might have one? When it comes to ulcers and other foot issues, it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention from one of our Philadelphia, PA, and Mount Laurel, Bordentown, and Columbus, NJ podiatrists if you have diabetes, as even small issues can lead to more serious complications.
What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
These are open sores or wounds that develop on the feet. These sores are often red, warm to the touch, and tender. In some cases there may be pus present or the sore may smell.
Foot ulcers in those with diabetes are actually quite common. In fact, about 1 in 4 people with diabetes will develop at least one ulcer during their lifetime. Even though they are common, it’s still important to take them seriously if the issue arises, as it can cause serious and life-threatening complications including infection, ischemia and amputation.
What does a diabetic foot ulcer look like?
Many times an ulcer occurs after the foot has sustained an injury, such as stepping on something or developing cracks from dry skin. While these minor injuries will often go away on their own in those without diabetes, if you have diabetes even the slightest foot injury can lead to diabetic foot ulcers and other problems.
What causes diabetic foot ulcers?
If you also have any of these conditions or factors below then you are at an increased risk for developing diabetic foot ulcers,
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Being male
- Being over the age of 60
When should I seek treatment for a diabetic ulcer?
It’s important to turn to your foot doctor in Philadelphia as soon as you notice an ulcer. Waiting more than 6 weeks for treatment could prevent the ulcer from healing properly.
Our podiatrists know the best treatment options to help you manage and effectively get rid of a diabetic foot ulcer. If you have diabetes it’s important that you have a foot specialist you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
The Foot & Ankle Group offers comprehensive foot care to patients of all ages living in Philadelphia, Mount Laurel, Bordentown and Columbus, NJ. If you are dealing with any changes in your diabetic feet call us right away.
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.
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