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Martin Foot & Ankle

The Dangers of Undetected Wounds with Diabetes

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Bandaged footIf you don’t catch them in time, sometimes even small, easily fixable problems can explode into major disasters. If you don’t spot an oil leak, for example, you might end up with a ruined engine. Or, how about this one—you didn’t catch the glaring typo until after hitting send on the e-mail to your boss.

When it comes to diabetes, an early detection system is critical if you want to stop a cut from becoming a wound, or a wound from becoming much more serious. Those that aren’t treated can become infected, and infections can spread to nearby tissues and even bones.

If countermeasures aren’t performed in time, the ultimate result could be a complicated limb salvage operation—or a lower limb amputation to contain the damage. In the most severe cases, your wound could even become life-threatening.

You’d think a foot wound would be hard to miss, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Due to poorly controlled blood sugar, many people with diabetes develop problems with the nerves in their feet and lower legs, a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Because the feet aren’t able to send accurate signals to the brain, a person may not feel anything unusual at all even if the amount of damage is quite extensive.

If you aren’t checking your feet daily—say you put on your socks in the dark, or find it difficult to see the bottom of your soles—it could be days before a wound comes to your attention, perhaps from drainage or a foul odor. By that time, a problem that could have been easily fixed a week earlier might have escalated, with potentially lifelong consequences.

The lesson? There are two of them. First, check your feet every single day! Second, if you do notice any signs of injury or skin breakdown, don’t take any chances—call the wound care experts at Martin Foot & Ankle right away. We’ll work quickly to stop any infection, heal the injury as fast as possible, and do absolutely everything we can to help you keep your feet and get back to full strength. To contact our office or schedule an appointment, please call our offices today at (717) 757-3537.

Dr. Bradley B. Boyer
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