A foot ulcer is one of the most problematic of events for a patient with diabetes. Since the peripheral neuropathy of diabetes causes a lack of sensation in the extremities, the feet become extremely susceptible to sores and cuts. These injuries can rapidly deteriorate into gangrenous ulcers, possibly requiring amputation of a toe or the entire foot if the infection has spread too far.
The best way to prevent foot ulcers and to avoid the complications and possible amputation risks is to take good care of your feet.
Some excellent methods for preventing diabetic foot ulcers include the following:
- Proper footwear—Wearing shoes that are too tight is one of the most common contributors to diabetic foot problems. You also don’t want your shoes to be too loose in order to prevent friction and blisters or other damage to the skin. Your toes need to have enough room to move around, and your ankles and arches need to be adequately supported. Specially designed shoes for those with diabetes have extra room for shoe inserts and ankle supports. Don’t forget about your socks. Socks for patients with diabetes are seamless and have extra cushioning, while the tops are less restrictive to help promote blood circulation.
- Daily foot inspections—Since nerve damage makes it difficult or impossible to know when you have an injury to your foot, it’s very important to perform a thorough foot inspection every day. Look for any blisters, cuts, or other wounds. Also pay attention to cracks in the skin that can allow bacteria to enter, possibly causing infection. Check the bottoms of your feet using a mirror, and be sure to carefully inspect between the toes. Remember to always look carefully at your toenails for signs of a fungal nail infection.
For more expert advice on foot ulcer prevention and treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Many patients with diabetes will develop a condition called peripheral neuropathy, which is characterized by a lack of feeling or numbness in the extremities. The cause of this loss of feeling is from damage to the nerve endings created by high blood sugar. Since this reduced sensation often affects the feet, one has to be very careful with any cuts, bruises, or blisters since they can go unnoticed and rapidly become infected leading to foot ulcers and possible amputation.
If you have diabetes, you already know how important it is to take care of your feet by managing your illness and following your doctor’s prescriptions. The importance of a good diet cannot be overemphasized, and the consumption of vital nutrients can even reverse or prevent diabetic nerve damage. It is important to consume foods that are rich in B vitamins to help nerves better communicate with each other. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E will help slow down the aging process and help the nerves to heal. Minerals such as magnesium and copper are also essential for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is a great way to get many of these essential nutrients. Also include fish, low fat meats, whole grains, and low fat dairy products in your diet. Some patients with gluten sensitivity may benefit from avoiding foods containing barley, wheat, and rye. Alcohol consumption should also be stopped or greatly limited since it can exacerbate neuropathy symptoms.
By being proactive to keep your nerves in good shape, you can slow or stop peripheral neuropathy and prevent debilitating complications.
For more expert advice on diabetes treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Usually when you stub your toe it’s no big deal—except for the extreme, sharp pain that occurs after you slam your bare foot into the bathroom door jamb! But other than that, stubbed toes tend to hurt a lot more than the situation would appear to require. Your toes have a large amount of nerve endings and not much fat tissue to absorb the impact of an unprotected hit, so they really hurt!
How can I tell if my toe is broken?
While most stubbed toe injuries are nothing to cry about, if you heard a popping or cracking sound when you stubbed your toe, it may be broken. Other signs that you may have fractured your toe include bleeding underneath the toenail, pain upon weight bearing, and swelling and discoloration that does not subside after a few days. These signs may also indicate a tendon injury, ligament damage, contusion, or joint dislocation.
Complications that may occur from a severe big toe injury include possible infection, especially in those with compromised immune systems. Children should always have stubbed toe injuries professionally evaluated to rule out the possibility of osteomyelitis, which is a bone inflammation that can cause severe complications if left untreated.
Most often, the pain and discomfort will be greatly diminished after the first day. For severe injuries where tendon, ligament, or bone damage is suspected, the toe may be taped or splinted. An immobilizing boot may be prescribed to prevent further damage, and to keep the injury stabilized while it heals. Surgery may be necessary, especially if bone fragments need to be removed from in or around the joint.
For more expert advice on broken toe treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
The feeling of having a pebble in your shoe is how a condition known as Morton’s neuroma is often described. It happens in the ball of the foot, between the middle toes (usually the third and fourth) and is characterized by a thickening of the tissue around a major nerve that connects to the toes. When this nerve becomes injured or compressed, it causes numbness and a burning sensation in addition to severe pain and discomfort.
Women who wear high heeled shoes are prone to developing Morton’s neuroma. Any tight-fitting shoes or boots that squeeze the toes together, such as those used in rock climbing and skiing, can be problematic. Runners are also more likely to develop this condition due to the repeated stress and pounding their feet take. If you have other foot abnormalities including hammertoes or flatfeet, you are more susceptible to this problem.
Morton’s neuroma can very often be successfully treated by conservative measures that include the following:
- Change to better fitting shoes—Wearing shoes that have more toe room and a lower heel cup will often allow the nerve to rest and heal.
- Orthotic shoe inserts—In addition to correcting problems caused by flatfeet, inserts can also lift and separate the bones between the toes and decrease the pressure on the nerve thereby promoting healing.
- Cortisone injections—These can help lower inflammation and reduce nerve compression.
If this condition goes untreated, permanent damage may result. It is also possible that the pain in the ball of your foot is caused by something else such as arthritis or a stress fracture, so be sure to see your foot care professional for the correct diagnosis and treatment.
For more expert advice on Morton’s neuroma treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
The condition of flatfoot occurs when the arches collapse, and depending upon the severity and length of time the condition has gone untreated, a variety of complications may arise. Flat feet are usually an inherited condition, but they can also be the result of injury, disease, excessive weight, and arthritis.
Children often experience a variety of flat feet that is usually painless and often resolves over time, as the bones and other tissues develop.
More severe cases of flat feet are characterized by:
- Pain and swelling—There are longitudinal and transverse arches in the foot that can become painful and swollen during walking and other movements. The discomfort can be felt in the heel, midfoot, or outer foot, depending upon which structure is affected.
- Pronation problems—Rolling the ankle inwards (overpronation) is a frequent problem in those with high arches and can cause gait abnormalities that radiate to the knees, hips, and back.
- Foot deformities—People with flat feet that go untreated for a long time are more susceptible to developing foot abnormalities like bunions and hammertoes.
Treatment for flat feet may consist of the use of braces, custom orthotic inserts, physical therapy, and immobilization. Wearing supportive shoes with orthotic arch inserts can alleviate and prevent many flat foot complications, especially in the earlier stages. One easy way to see if you have flat feet is to wet your feet and stand on a flat surface. If the middle of your foot touches the floor, you may have flat feet.
If you need help assessing your foot imprint, or for other expert advice on treatment of flat feet, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
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