If you have diabetes, the threat of amputation looms large, for good reason — per day, approximately 230 Americans, with diabetes, undergo an amputation. At Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center, the podiatrists work with the University of California, San Francisco, Center for Limb Preservation to prevent amputation using a multi-disciplinary approach to diabetic wound care. If you’d like to learn more about amputation prevention, call the Carmichael or Sacramento, California, office. You can also request an appointment using the online scheduling tool.
Diabetes is a systemic and chronic disease that affects how your body regulates the levels of glucose in your system, which can lead to neuropathy, or nerve damage, and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The significance of these two developments is twofold. To start, PAD is felt most acutely in your lower extremities, where your blood has to fight both distance and gravity to circulate properly. This means that your feet and lower limbs may not be getting the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood they need, which is especially important for healing.
The second part of the equation is the nerve damage. Because of your compromised circulation, your peripheral nerves can become damaged, leaving you less able to notice when you have a problem in your feet or lower legs.
Between the nerve damage and the lack of circulation to your lower extremities, any wound, no matter how small, may not heal properly, leaving you susceptible to infection and, in severe cases, gangrene, which typically requires amputation.
The moment you notice an open wound on your feet or lower limbs, it’s imperative that you seek medical care at Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center immediately. During your visit, your podiatrist spends a considerable amount of time determining the cause of the wound so that they can come up with the best treatment plan.
If your wound resists normal measures, such as antibiotics, and won’t heal, the podiatrists at Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center believe in an approach that combines the expertise of podiatrists, vascular surgeons, reconstructive microsurgeons, and other specialists to provide integrated, multidisciplinary care for patients who are at a much higher risk for foot and leg amputation.
Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center has prevented countless amputations by consulting with vascular surgeons at the same time as they treat your wound for the best diagnosis and treatment. So, if told that amputation is your only recourse, visit Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center for a second opinion as your next step as there may be options.
The best way to prevent amputation is to prevent wounds in the first place.
When you have diabetes, the care you provide your feet at home is paramount and should include:
In addition to these efforts, it’s important to work with your primary care provider to regulate your blood sugar levels.
If you’d like to learn more about preventing amputation, call Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center or use the online booking feature to set up a consultation.