Diabetes and Amputation

Having diabetes puts you at higher risk of foot complications, including the possibility of amputation in severe cases. People with diabetes have poor circulation, a loss of feeling in the feet, and a lower ability to fight infection that all contribute to this increased risk.

 

Some of the Risk Factors for Amputation:

Numbness—Damage to the nerves from peripheral artery disease and other causes can make it difficult for a diabetic to sense that an irritation or injury has occurred. Even small cuts or scrapes can quickly become infected, leading to a much larger problem requiring amputation to control the spread.

Improper Blood Circulation—Deterioration of blood vessels causes a decrease of blood flow to the feet. This weakens the bones and joints, increasing the risk of fractures and other damage, which may require amputation.

Foot deformities—Conditions such as Charcot foot can develop due to motor neuron damage. This can cause the foot to deform from its natural shape, leading to infection and severe disability, and the possibility of amputation.

 

Preventing Amputation: 

Protect your feet—Injuries and infections need to be prevented. Use properly fitted footwear that is comfortable and protective. Don’t walk barefoot. Be sure to completely clean and dry your feet every day to remove bacteria that can cause infection.

Health management—Poor blood circulation can be improved through healthy lifestyle choices. Quitting smoking is number one on the list. Eating right and getting regular exercise are key factors. Having your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels monitored and controlled are also essential.

Good foot care habitsCheck your feet daily for any cuts, scrapes, blisters, and early signs of corns and calluses. Use a hand mirror to inspect the bottom of your feet. Be sure to check in with your podiatrist regularly to monitor any existing problems or deformities and for instructions on how to safely groom your feet at home.

The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating diabetic patients, and in all aspects of foot and ankle care. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Annoying Morton’s Neuroma

Can you imagine the infuriating sensation of having an imaginary pebble in your shoe? That is the major symptom of this condition that causes a metatarsal ligament to trap a nerve resulting in pain and inflammation usually between the second and third, or third and fourth metatarsal heads in the ball of the foot. If there’s no rock in your shoe, it may be a good idea to visit your foot doctor for proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment.

 

While the consensus is still out on any particular cause of this condition, it appears to be a result of injury, soreness, and pressure on one of the nerves that extend into your toes. Women are diagnosed with this disorder much more frequently than men due to the wearing of high-heeled shoes. Playing high impact sports, skiing, jogging and any activity, which causes repetitive trauma to the foot, can also be a factor. It is also more likely to occur in individuals with other foot deformities such as hammertoes, bunions, and flat feet.

Treating Morton’s Neuroma

Your foot doctor will determine the proper course of action depending upon the severity of your neuroma and your particular situation. Depending on the individual circumstances, suggestions may include:

 

  • Changing your footwear. Shoes that have a wider toe box to relieve pressure on the interdigital nerve.
  • Reducing wear on your feet by limiting sports or other strenuous activities.
  • Properly placed foam pads may relieve pressure and irritation
  • Orthotic inserts
  • Anti-inflammatory medications will provide some relief.
  • Ice to numb the area.
  • Steroid injections, which can provide long-term abatement of symptoms, but may cause degeneration of soft tissues with repeated use.
  • Surgery to remove the affected nerve. This will only be recommended for more severe cases.

 

The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Why Does My Arch Hurt?

The long arch on the bottom of the foot undergoes considerable stress from daily activities and often becomes irritated and inflamed causing considerable pain and discomfort. The cause of arch pain is frequently associated with structural imbalances. These can often be corrected by using properly fitted shoes and orthotics that give support and prevent irritation to the foot joints and the skin.

A variety of conditions can contribute to arch pain including:

  • Plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the large ligament that supports the arch
  • A pronated foot—a tendency to roll inward at the ankles contributes to arch pain
  • Flat feet
  • Overuse—from being on your feet all day
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome—can cause pain to radiate to the arch
  • Osteoarthritis—joints in the middle of the foot can become painful

It is always a good idea to seek the advice of a foot specialist in the initial stages of arch related pain to determine the cause and review strategies for treatment to prevent the problems from recurring or becoming worse.

Exercises to stretch the calf muscles and arch may help relieve pain and increase flexibility. It is important to continue these exercises even after symptoms have subsided. Orthotic inserts can be particularly effective in supporting the arch and removing much of the stress to the arch.

Taping can also be used for more robust arch support and to restrict motion. If these strategies are not providing relief, your foot doctor will check for conditions such as arthritis or a pinched nerve that may be the cause of the pain.

The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle care. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Cracked Heels

This is a common foot problem that is usually just a minor annoyance for most, but it can become very painful and debilitating when the cracks deepen into fissures making it difficult to walk and stand. The cracks can also bleed and possibly become infected. Typically, cracked heels are a result of having very dry skin but this may be exacerbated by other factors.

Causes of Cracked Heels

  • Spending a lot of time standing on hard surfaces
  • Carrying extra weight can split your heel sideways
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Estrogen imbalance
  • Peripheral neuropathy can cause drying of the skin
  • Psoriasis and eczema
  • Wearing open back shoes
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Circulation problems
  • Genetic predisposition

Simple things you can do at home to help with cracked heels include using an oil based moisturizer twice daily, and trying to reduce the thickness of the skin in the heel area using a pumice stone or file. Drinking plenty of liquids will help keep your skin hydrated, and consuming omega 3 fatty acids will also help.

If self-care options are not providing relief, you may need to contact a foot specialist to do a complete diagnosis and recommend the best treatment.

Podiatric Treatments

  • Determine the underlying cause of the cracking
  • The hard skin needs to be removed carefully to avoid bleeding
  • Strapping the cracks together will help them to heal faster.
  • Orthotic inserts such as a heel cup can be particularly effective at preventing the heel from expanding sideways
  • Prescription creams may help

The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle care. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).