Dr. Terrill F. Brown III, a podiatrist with Cape Fear Podiatry Associates of Dunn, NC explains the importance of early care for diabetes, particularly in the lower extremities.
People who have diabetes are vulnerable to nerve and vascular damage that can result in loss of protective sensation in the feet, poor circulation, and poor healing of foot ulcers. All of these conditions contribute to the high amputations rate in people with diabetes. The absence of nerve and vascular symptoms, however, does not mean that a patient’s feet are not at risk. Risk of ulceration cannot be accessed with out careful examination of the patient’s bare feet.
Early identification of foot problems and early intervention to prevent problems from worsening can avert many amputations. Good foot care, therefore is an essential part of diabetic management-for patients as well as health care providers.
The staggering human and economic costs of diabetes foot disease may be reduced significantly with increased practice of several simple preventive care measures designed to prevent foot ulcers and lower extremity amputations. Routine annual foot exams to identify high risk feet facilitate early interventions to help reduce the incidence of the most common precipitating events including injury and footwear-related trauma to the insensitive foot.
The key elements of preventive care include: annual examination of the feet by health care providers to determine risk factors for ulceration; subsequent examination of high risk feet at each patient visit; patient education about daily self care of the feet; use of proper footwear; and careful glucose management. National recommendation and objectives support the application of these practices based on the strong and time-tested evidence for the prevention of lower extremity ulcers and amputations.
To learn more, please visit www.capefearpodiatryassociates.com