Plainfield (815) 439-1188 15724 S. Rt 59 Unit 100
Bolingbrook (630) 226-9860 215 Remington Blvd., Suite A2

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Care for Diabetic Foot Ulcers on the Heel


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People with diabetes are already at a higher risk of developing a serious illness or infection. It takes longer for wounds, sores, or ulcers to heal.

For those who are not already familiar with them, a diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore that appears on the bottom of the foot. If it is not properly treated, this condition can lead to severe problems with nerve function, your ability to feel, or amputation of the foot or leg.

To explain this health issue a bit more, we need to dive into two of the complications related to diabetes that contribute to foot ulcers:

  • Poor circulation – This situation is caused by having excessive amounts of sugar in your bloodstream, inhibiting blood flow to the feet.
  • Neuropathy – This condition can best be described simply as nerve damage caused by too much blood sugar that reduces sensations in the extremities of your body. In the early stages of neuropathy, symptoms include a gradual feeling of numbness, prickling, or tingling in your feet or hands that can spread upward into the legs and arms.

As a result of this loss of sensation, a small cut, bruise, or puncture wound on the foot that is left unnoticed and untreated can develop into a sore with potentially severe complications.

A podiatrist uses a metal rod to test the nerves on the bottom of a patient’s foot.

In addition to these primary contributing causes, other things such as trauma to the foot, foot deformities, and pressure caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes can also contribute to the formation of foot ulcers.

Symptoms of foot ulcers

Because of the neuropathy that has reduced sensations in your feet, pain may not be a symptom of a foot ulcer. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to notice symptoms sooner rather than later, which can lead to a worsened infection or amputation. Some of the most common systems include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • An open sore that doesn’t heal
  • Drainage on your socks
  • Possibly, an unpleasant odor

Preventive measures

By far the best medicine is the prevention of foot ulcers, and these measures should help.

  • If you’re diabetic, check your feet daily, or have your significant other check them for you if necessary.
  • Always keep your blood sugar level under control.
  • Protect your feet by wearing shoes that are roomy and comfortable.
  • Reduce the risk factors. That includes not smoking, drinking no alcohol or drinking only in moderation, and keeping your cholesterol under control.
  • Again, if you’re diabetic, schedule regular appointments with your podiatrist for a thorough examination of your feet.

Treatment for foot ulcers at Suburban Foot & Ankle Associates

In cases of foot ulcers, the goal of the podiatric physicians at Suburban Foot & Ankle Associates is to heal the ulcer as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infection and even more severe complications. Treatment options include the removal of dead skin and tissue as well as wound care through the application of medication and appropriate dressing.

In addition, it may also be necessary to wear a brace or special shoes for diabetic neuropathy to relieve pressure on the affected area of the foot.

Finally, if other measures do not correct the situation, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Foot ulcers and diabetic neuropathy are conditions not to be ignored or taken lightly as there is always the possibility of severe complications. If you’re suffering any of the symptoms we’ve described, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Call one of the Suburban Foot & Ankle clinics to schedule your free consultation with one of our podiatric physicians. We can help you address your foot problems or prescribe you with shoes for diabetic neuropathy in Plainfield, IL.

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Two Convenient Locations

Plainfield

15724 S. Rt 59 Unit 100

Plainfield, IL 60544

815-439-1188 phone

815-439-2453 fax

Illinois Podiatric Medical Association

Bolingbrook

215 Remington Blvd., Suite A2

Bolingbrook, IL 60440

630-226-9860 phone

815-439-2453 fax

American Podiatric Medical Association