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Diabetes and Limb Salvage

Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Those with diabetes are at a much higher risk of facing amputation of a limb than others. In 2016 alone, over 12,000 California residents had to undergo diabetes related amputations. It is easy for someone with diabetes to not realize the severity of the situation, because they often lose feeling in their peripheral nerves. The problem usually starts with a blister on the foot that easily goes unnoticed, therefore untreated. These blisters can become infected, which escalates because diabetes is associated with poor circulation in the limbs. As more time passes the infected foot continually loses more tissue and as tissue loss increases, so does the possibility of amputation. Fortunately, there are advances in medicine that have been able to save limbs that would have been lost in the past, but limb salvage is still a major concern for those with diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is important to regularly check your feet for any irregularities and to consult with a podiatrist about any issues that could affect you in the future.

Diabetic Limb Salvage

Diabetic limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have a foot ulcer and diabetes, consult with Dr. Morris Stribling from Foot Care of Central San Antonio. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What is Diabetic Limb Salvage?

Diabetic limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot, that has an infected ulcer, from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Amputation has been found to lead to higher mortality rates. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Central San Antonio, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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