Amputation Prevention

doctor showing patient dynamic of the foot

Amputation is a real risk for victims of grievous injury, or those living with conditions that result in non-healing wounds such as diabetes patients. Foot problems are particularly prevalent in these patients due to the poor circulation and nerve damage associated with the condition. Proper healing relies on good circulation, and even a tiny cut can have difficulty resisting infection as a result. When foot complications become severe enough, amputation may be necessary, but Dr. Steber is dedicated to taking steps to prevent it from becoming a necessity.

What Kind Of Conditions Can Result In Amputation?

Patients of diabetes and their physicians work together to avoid complications reaching the level of severity that requires amputation. In order to achieve this, these patients need to adjust their view of foot complications and learn what steps they can take to prevent amputation from becoming necessary. The following conditions can all lead to amputation if proper care isn’t taken.

  • Unhealing Wounds, Ulcers, and Infections –Poor circulation and nerve damage can make many types of otherwise minor injuries to the foot become ulcerous or infected, preventing them from healing. These types of concerns are common in patients with diabetes and can result in amputation or even loss of life.

  • Corns and Calluses –Nerve damage can make it difficult to tell when your foot is experiencing pressure from these concerns. Without treatment, this pressure can cause ulcers in the foot.

  • Cracked Dry Skin –Poor circulation makes fighting infection difficult, and cracks in the skin can make it easy for your foot to become infected.

  • Nail Disorders –Ingrown toenails are uncomfortable and a nuisance in healthy patients. For diabetic patients, they can be absolutely life-threatened due to the risk of infection and causing ulcers. The lack of feeling in the feet can often lead to these conditions going unnoticed until they’re critical.

These conditions are among the most common faced by patients of diabetes or who otherwise have compromised circulation and damaged nerves in their feet and legs. Careful nightly inspection of your feet and proper care of these concerns can help prevent them from becoming critical.

What Can I Do To Help Prevent Amputation?

While your physician can do a lot to help your condition, you remain the most important component in amputation prevention. There are vital steps you can take to help prevent these conditions from occurring and getting worse. For instance:

  • Daily Inspection –As mentioned above, it’s critical that you inspect your feet daily or have someone else do it if your vision is poor. During the inspection, look for:

    • Injuries –Scrapes, cuts, swelling

    • Changes – Bad odor, discoloration, hair loss on your toe, and changes in your nail color or shape.

    • Leg Pain –Night pain or pain without related activity can indicate a blocked artery that needs immediate treatment.

  • Prevention and Treatment

    • Nail Cutting –Ensure that your nails are properly trimmed, especially if you have difficulty with feeling in your feet.

    • Leave It To The Professionals –Do not remove your corns or calluses yourself, leave it to the physician. Also, limit the use of over-the-counter treatments.

    • Clear Your Floors –Your floor should have no sharp objects on it, and make sure you pad the corners of objects.

    • Cover Your Feet –keep your feet protected by wearing shoes both indoors and outdoors.

    • Wear Them Properly –It’s essential that your shoes fit properly and that your socks are not bunched up when you put them on.

These steps will go a long way towards ensuring that you prevent injury or conditions that can result in the need for amputation. Your podiatrist will be there to help consult and treat in cases where these preventative measures prove insufficient.

If you need more help learning how to care for your feet and prevent amputation, contact Dr. Steber at 570-657-6851 today. You’ll be scheduled for an appointment in our office at 265 Pine Cove Ct in Lehighton, PA, at your earliest convenience. During your visit, Dr. Steber will go over your medical history, examine your foot health, and provide suggestions for treatment and prevention.

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