Diabetic Foot


In addition to peripheral vascular disease, diabetic patients are at increased risk of developing skin infections and foot ulcers. Patients often do not realise that they have cut the skin due to a diminished or lack of sensation in the feet. These cuts provide an entry point for infection. Due to the high blood sugar levels in diabetics, infection spreads more rapidly and involves the deeper tissues. If the infection is not treated promptly, it can spread to the bones of the feet causing osteomyelitis. This requires prolonged intravenous antibiotic treatment and in severe cases amputation of affected bones.

Because diabetes affects very small vessels in the calf and foot, until recently surgical vascular reconstruction was the only possible option in the majority of the cases. However with newer endovascular techniques, with ultra-low profile balloons and very small steerable guide-wires we could  unblock the obstructed calf and foot vessels and restore the blood flow to the foot. When blood flow is restored and with proper wound care and antibiotics the body could fight the infection and heal the ulcers.

Charcot foot is a condition affecting the bones of the foot. It is commonly seen in diabetic patients and is characterised by damage to the soft tissues and bones of the foot. Subsequently, there can be deformity, fractures and dislocations. It is thought to be caused by a combination of repeated trauma to the foot and an increase in blood supply to the foot, thereby increasing the bone metabolism.

In the vast majority of patients, there is no need for an operation and treatment consists of resting the joint and elevation.

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Diabetic Foot

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