Diabetic foot pain is common amongst diabetic patients and can become severe when left untreated. Diabetic foot ulcers are the sores that are usually seen on the foot pad and it occurs in around 15% of the diabetic patients. The risk of lower-extremity amputation is increased once the ulcer develops.
Diabetic Foot Ulcer Causes
The main cause of diabetic foot ulcer is neuropathy and vascular complications caused due to diabetes. Nerve damage can cause complete loss of feeling in your foot or leg and this condition is generally referred as peripheral neuropathy. During peripheral neuropathy the pressure caused by cuts, bruises or injury may go unnoticed.
The loss of protective sensation in your body may make you unaware of the fact that you are being injured and may result in skin loss, blisters and ulcers,
Apart from peripheral neuropathy, vascular diseases also increase the risk of ulcer development. Vascular diseases mainly affect the small blood vessels feeding the skin. During this condition your arteries in the feet are unaffected. In few cases the arteries become narrow and no pulse can be found by your doctor in your feet that is a clear indication of ischemia.
Lack of healthy blood flow in your feet may generally lead to ulceration. Due to the presence of vascular diseases the wound healing ability is also impaired. Vascular diseases are usually aggravated due to excess smoking.
Diabetic Ulcer Signs and Symptoms
Diabetic foot ulcers mostly get unnoticed as these are frequently painless. Diabetic foot ulcer is rated between 0 and 3 depending on the severity of the ulcers.
0: No ulceration
1: Superficial ulceration with no infection
2: Deep ulceration that expose tendons and joints
3: Extensive ulceration or abscesses
Usually tissues present around the ulcers become black due to the lack of blood flow to the foot. In few severe cases partial or complete gangrene may occur. Secondary infection is also common in diabetes.
Management and Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Treatment of diabetic ulcer depends on the severity of infection. It is important to manage the diabetic foot ulcer that mainly aims at preventing them. The common preventive measures include the following:
- Control your blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of neuropathy and vascular complications
- Quit smoking
- Take care of your feet and examine it regularly to avoid complications
- Wear comfortable footwear
In case of neuropathic ulcers, care must be taken to avoid the development of another ulcer by wearing the correct and comfortable footwear. Frequent skin examinations helps in avoiding the risks associated with neuropathic ulcers.
In case of vascular and ischemic ulcers, you must consult the vascular surgeons to determine the extent of damage caused and whether surgery is necessary. In few rare cases partial amputation of the limb is also required.
You need to clean the wounds by using antiseptic or superoxided solution and synthetic dressing is applied to ensure a moist environment is maintained. The dressing of the wound also depends on the type of ulcers and the stage of healing.
Diabetic foot infection also increases in case of diabetic foot ulcers. The treatment of diabetic foot problems must be taken seriously to avoid any complications. Diabetic foot treatment in Hyderabad can be done at competitive rates. Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala can perform diabetic foot surgery in Hyderabad and can cure vascular and ischemic ulcers seen in diabetic patients.