Diabetic foot pain is a common complication that results from uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic foot pain along with other symptoms, such as skin discoloration, numbness, redness, tingling, and foul smellcan be indicative of a wide range of diabetic foot problems including diabetic ulcers, diabetic calluses, foot infections, and diabetic neuropathy.
To treat diabetic foot pain, it is important to determine the underlying cause of the pain and manage it.In this article, we’ll talk about how diabetic foot pain or diabetes-related foot conditions are diagnosed and how diabetic foot pain is treated.
Diagnosing the Cause of Diabetic Foot Pain
To diagnose the underlying cause of your diabetic foot pain, your foot and ankle doctor will first ask about your other symptoms and examine your legs, feet, and toes for any signs of infections, such as swelling, warmth, redness,and discoloration. They may also touch your feet, legs, and toes with various tools to check symptoms like numbness and tingling which are common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Furthermore, your foot and ankle doctor may also ask you how well you have been managing your blood sugar level over the past few months and order tests like X-rays or MRIsto determine the health of deeper tissues in your extremities. Your doctor may also perform a vascular assessment of your extremities to check for nerve damage and poor blood circulation.
Treating Diabetic Foot Pain
The type of diabetic foot pain treatment that you might need depends on the severity of your foot pain and the underlying cause of your diabetic foot pain.
A foot and ankle doctor first utilizes conservative measures to treat diabetic foot pain. Conservative treatment refers to a non-invasive approach that involves managing medical conditions or illnesses without using surgical methods. Conservative treatments for diabetic foot pain include diabetic wound care and lifestyle changes to manage diabetes.
Diabetic wound care involves draining pus, removing dead tissues, and applying antibiotics and special bandages on the site of the wound. This step is important so that diabetic wounds do not became gangrenous, meaning that the tissue dies because it is infected or is not getting enough blood flow. A foot and ankle doctor can also prescribe medications like pain relievers to manage diabetic foot pain and antibiotics to treat infections.
Lifestyle changes that help manage diabetes can also help prevent diabetic foot pain. Foot and ankle doctors will recommend the following strategies to help prevent issues of the foot from worsening or even from developing. These tailored strategies and recommendations may include:
- Controlling your blood glucose levels
- Wearing properly fitted shoes and sneakers
- Checking your feet daily for sores and cuts
- Keeping your feet moisturized
- Keeping your feet protected with socks
In certain cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to manage diabetic foot pain. Certain cases include those in which conservative measures and strategies fail to provide significant relief, or when the disease is too advanced.
Surgical procedures performed to manage diabetic foot pain vary. Minor surgery for diabetic foot pain includes debridement, which is a removal of dead or infected skin and underlying tissues.
In instances where the tissue is too infected or not able to heal, limb salvage may be performed. This is when the gangrenous part of the foot is removed to save the rest of the limb.
In the most severe cases, limb amputation may be performed, but early intervention significantly decreases the need for this treatment.
Foot and ankle doctors are also trained in performing bypass surgeries and endovascular surgeries to assist the blood flow to the affected areas and treat diabetic foot pain.
Diabetic Foot Pain Treatment Near Me
Diabetic foot pain can be discomforting at best and debilitating at worst. It can keep you from moving around and doing your day-to-day activities freely.
At the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England, we offer comprehensive and high-quality diabetic foot care to help prevent the food-related complications of diabetes. Our board-certified foot and ankle surgeons, Drs. Criscione, Gallucci, and Rogers can also expertly perform limb salvage surgery with the goalof preserving the function and appearance of the limb.
If you would like to know more about our board-certified foot and ankle surgeons or would like to set up a consultation with them, please contact us today at our podiatry office nearest you or use our appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!