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Posts for: December, 2015

December 14, 2015
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Charcot foot is a sudden softening of the bones in the foot that can occur in people who have significant nerve damage or neuropathy. The bones are weakened enough to fracture, and with continued walking the foot eventually changes shape. The symptoms can appear after a sudden trauma or even a minor repetitive trauma such as a long walk. As the disorder progresses, the arch collapses and the foot takes on a convex shape, giving it a rocker-bottom appearance, and making it very difficult to walk. Charcot foot is a very serious condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability, and even amputation.

Because of its seriousness, it is important that patients with diabetes take preventive measures and seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear. It is extremely important to follow the treatment plan; failure to do so can lead to the loss of a toe, foot, or even leg. Treatment for Charcot foot consists of: immobilization in the early stages to protect the soft bones so they can repair themselves. Complete non-weight bearing is necessary to keep the foot from further collapsing. Custom shoes and bracing may be prescribed, and surgery may be necessary based on the severity of the deformity and the patient’s physical condition.

The patient can play a vital role in preventing Charcot foot and its complications by following these measures:

  • Diabetic patients should keep blood sugar levels under control to reduce the progress ion of nerve damage in the feet.

  • Get regular check-ups from a foot and ankle surgeon.

  • Check both feet every day!

  • Be careful to avoid injury and overdoing an exercise program

  • Follow the surgeon’s instructions for long-term treatment to prevent recurrences, ulcers, and amputation.

Click here or call our office at 615-452-8899 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mendoza today!

December 07, 2015
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There are two main ways that diabetes can contribute to foot problems: It can cause peripheral neuropathy (tingling, burning, and decreased feeling in the feet) so that injuries and cuts may go unnoticed. It can also cause decreased circulation to the feet, resulting in a reduced blood supply that may be inadequate to heal wounds and fight infection. For these reasons it is essential that diabetics take good care of their feet. All diabetics should follow these guidelines to avoid serious infection:

  • Check over your feet and in between your toes each and everyday. Look for corns and calluses that could ulcerate, as well as any redness and swelling.Inspect your feet for signs of broken skin, cuts, blisters, or scratches.

  • Wash your feet everyday in warm water (temperature tested with your hand first) with a mild soap (but don’t soak your feet – it can make your skin dry out and crack).

  • Wear shoes that fit properly to prevent rubbing and ulceration, and be very careful after you start wearing new shoes – check for red spots and any signs of irritation.

  • Never go barefoot.

  • Trim your toenails carefully, or have Dr. Mendoza trim them for you if it is hard for you to do yourself – especially if you tend to draw blood while trimming them, we don’t want you to start a wound that’s hard to heal.

  • Never use medicated callous remover pads, leave the callous trimming to Dr. Mendoza!

  • Don’t smoke – smoking narrows the blood vessels and decreases circulation to the feet which is particularly dangerous for people with diabetes.

  • Before you put them on, examine the inside of your shoes for foreign objects or torn linings that may cause irritation.

If you would like a diabetic foot exam or need diabetic foot care click here or call our office at 615-452-8899 today to schedule your appointment!