One of the most common chronic diseases in our society is diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of this disease is now reaching near epidemic proportions with its incidence expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. In North America, there are over 500,000 new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year. Studies also indicate that the number of people who unknowingly have diabetes is very high.
A large percentage of people with diabetes will develop problems with their feet. Statistics show that diabetes is the most common cause of lower limb amputations. Every hour 3 people with diabetes must have a foot, ankle or leg amputated. Statistics demonstrate that it is possible to decrease complications and the rate of lower limb amputation by up to 70% with proper foot care.
Most of these problems are preventable through proper care and regular visits to the podiatrist. At the West Vancouver Foot Clinic, Dr. Mohamed can provide information on foot inspection and care, proper footwear, and early recognition, in addition to treatment of foot conditions.
Diabetic foot ulcers are serious conditions that require immediate and proper treatment, as infected ulcers are the leading cause of lower limb amputations. Diabetic foot ulcers are most commonly caused by a condition known as neuropathy.
Diabetic patients can experience autonomic, motor and sensory neuropathy.
Autonomic neuropathy interferes with many aspects of the human body functioning. Autonomic neuropathy in the feet interferes with sweat gland function. This disposes patients to cracked or dry feet that can lead to skin breakdown and fissures which can become tracks for infection.
Motor neuropathy affects the muscles and may lead to atrophy which occurs when the muscles and tissues of the foot become small and lose their strength. This often leads to hammertoe formation which leads to the formation of pressure areas on the foot.
Sensory neuropathy results in reduction of sensation in the feet. This may lead to abnormal amounts of pressure on certain areas of the foot leading to callous formation when the patient walks which in turn leads to the development of ulcers as the sensory perception under the foot and at the level of the toes gets worst.
Foot deformities such as hammertoes, bunions, and metatarsal disorders have special significance in the diabetic population. Sensory Neuropathy places the foot at increased risk for developing corns, calluses, blisters and ulcerations. If these are left untreated, serious infections may result.
Another problem that diabetics often experience is vascular disease. With this condition, the skin of the feet can become thin, with a corresponding loss of hair growth on the feet. Additionally, the feet will often become cold or feel cold to the touch. Because of the vascular compromise, an individual's foot may become more susceptible to breakdown or ulceration.
A duplex ultrasound uses sound waves that are higher than human hearing can detect. The podiatrist may use duplex ultrasound to determine the speed of blood flow and determine if there is any evidence of pedal vessel wall narrowing or insufficiency.
All newly diagnosed diabetic patients should make an appointment for a screening examination. This examination should be performed yearly. You will be evaluated for signs of neuropathy, vascular compromise and a biochemical evaluation will be performed. Dermatological conditions as well as corns, callouses and nail trimming should be dealt with proactively every 6 weeks to avoid potential problems.
The goal of The West Vancouver Foot Clinic is to educate the public on proper diabetic foot care, including the severe consequences of diabetes. With this knowledge people can take proactive measures to better manage their disease and their feet. Our goal is to save limbs!
Proper protective orthopedic footwear and diabetic insoles are excellent ways to prevent problems and are available at the West Vancouver Foot Clinic. We also treat patients with wart problems.
Monday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM