Diabetic Foot Infections
As a San Jose podiatrist and foot surgeon, Leonard Greenwald, D.P.M. often treats diabetic foot infections. We treat diabetic foot infections in an attempt to help our patients never reach the point of losing their feet, something all too common in diabetics. In our San Jose, CA podiatry office, we treat foot infections and can help you recover. There are several types of diabetic foot infections, with more severe ones leading to foot loss. This makes it important to visit our office for an examination as soon as possible. Call (408) 827-9483 to schedule your appointment.
Dr. Greenwald treats diabetic foot infections and other foot disorders with patients in San Jose, CA, on a regular basis. While amputation is necessary in severe cases, Dr. Greenwald will do everything in his power to prevent the need for amputation. At Leonard Greenwald DPM, the last thing we want is for a patient to lose one of their feet. People may not even realize the connections between their feet and diabetes.
How does diabetes affect my foot?
The feet are a very important part of the human body, carrying one’s weight from place to place. Those with diabetes need to follow extreme caution when it comes to foot care, as diabetes can bring about an assortment of feet infections and health risks.
One cause of foot infection is diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is when someone lacks the ability to feel pain in their feet and legs. This means that a patient can cut their foot or have a sore that he or she will not notice. The cut or sore can become infected and only be dealt after the infection has spread.
People with diabetes may also struggle with peripheral vascular disease, in which they have a disruption of blood flow. Due to this, cuts and sores may not heal properly. When a cut or sore does not heal properly, there is a chance it will form into an ulcer. If you struggle with diabetes and notice something wrong with your foot, do not hesitate to seek professional help.
Various forms of feet infections
Some infections an individual can develop on the feet include:
- Cellulitis – A bacterial skin infection that causes the skin to swell and feel hot. The area of the skin will also appear red and can affect the tissue underneath the skin as well. Treatment for cellulitis involves consuming a prescription oral antibiotic for a period of time. The treatment can vary depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.
- Osteomyelitis – Is an infection of the bone that can cause fever, chills, swelling in the area of infection and pain. The infected area can also display a warmth and redness. Symptoms of osteomyelitis may also be difficult to discern from other symptoms and can go unnoticed in some cases. Treatment can include draining away the pus and fluid from the area around the infected bone. Another possible treatment method involves removing the piece of infected bone through surgery.
- Abscess – An abscess is a tender mass surrounded by an area colored from pink to red and full of pus. Treatment involves draining the pus first and then draining the debris. Once that has been complete, the doctor will clean the area and place packing in the cavity to help stop the bleeding. The doctor places a bandage over the area and gives instructions on how to continue taking care of it.
- Gangrene – Gangrene involves the death of body tissue from a lack of blood flow or bacterial infection. People with diabetes have a better chance of contracting gangrene since diabetes can disrupt blood flow. Skin discoloration of a variety of colors can occur in those who have gangrene. Along with pain in the foot, patients will see an obvious line of between healthy and damaged skin. Treatment for gangrene can prevent the disease from spreading, but will not save damaged tissue. Surgery to remove the dead tissue is one possible treatment method. Antibiotics injected intravenously are another possible treatment method. The treatment method depends entirely on the severity of the gangrene.
These are only a few of the possible infection a patient with diabetes can contract on the foot. Infection around that area can lead to foot ulcers, which can cause foot deformities and constant irritation on the foot.
People with diabetic foot infections will not feel the pain and allow an ulcer to grow and worsen. This is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
One symptom of an ulcer that diabetic patients may notice is finding drainage on their socks upon removing them. If you notice any unusual fluids on your socks, set up an appointment at our office as soon as possible. A diabetic patient may also notice redness or swelling in the area of the ulcer. In extreme cases, the ulcer may also emit an odor.
As much as one may try to treat the ulcer on their own, falsely believing there is a natural remedy, a diabetic patient needs to have a professional podiatrist treat the ulcer. The longer one waits to take care of an ulcer, the greater chance of infection and amputation. At Leonard Greenwald DPM, we will do everything in our power to prevent amputation of the limbs and help patients walk away on a set of healthy feet.
The treatment methods depend on the specific infection. While surgical removal of the infected area is a possibility, in many cases treatment with antibiotics and therapy can work as well.
If a patient is struggling with a diabetic foot ulcer, treatment will focus on preventing further infection, taking pressure off of the area, applying medication to the area, removing any dead skin around the area and managing blood glucose problems.
At Leonard Greenwald DPM, we will take all medical factors of the patient into account before recommending a treatment method. Dr. Greenwald will observe the infection and go over the best treatment method with the patient. If surgery is a requirement, Dr. Greenwald will answer all questions and concerns before the operation.
There are several types of diabetic foot infections, with more severe ones leading to foot loss. At Leonard Greenwald, we will try to avoid amputation as much as possible and exercise every known solution for treatment. Do not let an infection continue to grow and receive the treatment to prevent it.
Visit our office for an examination as soon as possible. Call (408) 827-9483 to schedule your appointment.