Diabetic Foot & Ankle Medicine and Surgery
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people all over the world. Diabetes is characterized by uncontrolled blood glucose levels, which is harmful for your body’s tissue. Diabetic foot is a common complication resulting from uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
At the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England, we offer patients with diabetes comprehensive foot care, including all possible medical and surgical care they may need. Our diabetic foot care services include:
- Routine foot care appointments
- Fitting and dispensing of Medicare-approved shoes and sneakers
- Wound care
- Treatment of infections
- Peripheral neuropathy treatment & surgery
- Limb salvage
Why Foot Care Is Important If You Have Diabetes
Diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) throughout the body, especially in the feet. Neuropathy involves a loss of sensation in the affected area, so that people with diabetes are often unable to detect when they have a sore or open wound on their feet.
In addition, diabetes leads to vascular problems that inhibit the circulation of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. Persistently high blood glucose levels cause your blood vessels to narrow and become incapable of supplying blood.
Without proper blood flow to the extremities, such as the feet, wounds may not be able to completely heal on their own and may be unable to adequately fight infection. Therefore, even the smallest of injuries to the foot can quickly become infected – sometimes, in just a matter of days.
Infection can lead to tissue death (gangrene), in which the skin may feel cold to the touch, become greenish-black or similarly discolored, and emit a foul smell. Should the infection spread to other areas of the body, it can become life-threatening. Amputation may become necessary to prevent the spread of infection if it’s not treated in time.
Our Medical & Surgical Diabetic Services
If you or someone you love has diabetes, it is important to visit a foot and ankle doctor on a regular basis. The surgeons at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions affecting the feet. We offer a full range of preventive care, as well as the vast medical and surgical services needed to help keep your feet healthy and free of infection.
Patients with diabetes are encouraged to schedule regular, comprehensive foot exams with the experts at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England on a frequency appropriate for their situation, but at least once a year.
During your diabetic foot exam, we will carefully and thoroughly check your feet, ankles, and toes for any injuries or abnormalities, such as:
- Dry skin
- Bone abnormalities
- Cuts or cracking of the skin
- Toenail disorders
- Signs of fungal or other types of infection
We will discuss your health history and any symptoms you may be experiencing, such as tingling, numbness, burning, swelling, or pain in your feet or legs. Our experts can also offer guidance on the most appropriate footwear to help avoid injury to your feet.
Neurological and/or vascular assessments may also be conducted to determine your level of sensation in the feet and how well your blood is circulating in the area.
Medical & Surgical Foot Care for Diabetics in RI, MA
If you or a loved one has diabetes, making sure that the feet remain healthy and infection-free is a daily responsibility. Should you require medical or surgical treatment for your feet, our board-certified surgeons are well-versed in providing exactly what you need.
Call the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England office nearest you to schedule your first diabetic foot exam. We have three convenient offices, in Warwick and Middletown, Rhode Island, as well as in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. You can also request an appointment now.