What is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs on the foot, most commonly on the bottom or plantar surface. Approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes, will develop an ulcer during there lifetime, of which 6 percent will be hospitalized due to an infection or other ulcer-related complication and 14 to 24 percent will have some form of amputation.
Diabetes Diabetes By The Numbers is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the United States, however, research has shown that the development of a foot ulcer is preventable.
Who Can Develop a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Anyone who has diabetes can develop a foot ulcer. Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and older men are at an increased risk in developing ulcerations. People who use insulin are also at a higher risk of developing a foot ulcer, as are patients with diabetes-related kidney, eye, and heart disease. Being overweight and using alcohol and tobacco also play a role in the development of ulcerations.
How do Diabetic Foot Ulcers Form?
Ulcers form due to a combination of factors, such as lack of feeling in the foot, poor circulation, foot deformities, irritation (such as friction or pressure), trauma and duration of diabetes. Patients who have diabetes for many years can develop neuropathy, a reduced or complete lack of feeling in the feet due to nerve damage caused by elevated blood glucose levels over time. The nerve damage often occurs without pain and one may not even be aware of the problem. Your podiatric physician can test your feet for neuropathy with a simple and painless tool called a monofilament. Numbness and Tingling
Vascular disease Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Amputation can also complicate a foot ulcer, reducing the body’s ability to heal and increasing the risk for an infection.
Elevations in blood glucose can reduce the body’s ability to fight off a potential infection and also retard or halt healing.
What Can You Do if You Develop a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Once an ulcer or wound is noticed, seek podiatric medical care immediately at one of our offices listed below, to reduce the risk of infection and amputation.
We can be reached at one of the offices listed below: Our Offices
Middleburg Heights Office:Phone (440) 243-1473
Lyndhurst Office: Phone (216) 382-8070
Beachwood Office: Phone (216) 591-1905