People with diabetes are at high risk for developing problems with their feet. More than half of diabetics lose sensation in their feet due to nerve or blood vessel damage, and can hurt themselves without knowing it. Even the smallest of foot and ankle injuries, such as a blister or ingrown toenail, can lead to infection and tissue death.
Ulcers and other wounds commonly form on the bottom of the foot and can easily become infected or lead to other serious complications. Ulcers may develop as a result of poor circulation, lack of feeling in the feet, irritation or trauma.
Once a wound has been detected, it should be treated immediately in order to prevent complications from developing. Diabetic wound treatment focuses on relieving pressure from the area and removing dead skin cells and tissue through a process called debridement. The wound is then medicated and dressed to prevent infection and promote healing. For more severe wounds, patients may be required to wear special footwear or a brace to relieve pressure and irritation to the wound.
To prevent wounds from developing, patients should avoid walking barefoot and keep blood glucose levels under control. Diabetic patients should have regularly scheduled appointments with Dr. Zarate to detect any abnormalities in its earliest stages and reduce the risk of serious complications. You should also examine your feet at home on a daily basis. Dr. Zarate is experienced in treating a wide range of diabetic complications and aims to promote healthy feet through comprehensive patient understanding.
A fracture is a break in a bone. It may be a crack in the bone (a stress fracture) or a complete break; the bones may shift out of place or break the skin. Fractures in the bones of the foot and ankle cause a variety of symptoms and require different treatments depending on the location and severity of the break as well as the patient's overall health.
Fractures of the foot and ankle may occur within the:
- Digits and metatarsals (toes & forefoot)
- Lisfranc joint (midfoot)
Like fractures within other areas of the body, these injuries usually occur as a result of a fall, automobile accident, fight, sports injury or other types of injury, and often cause pain, swelling and bruising. Symptoms tend to get worse while walking.
We offer specialized knowledge and care for the treatment of fractures. Dr. Zarate treats your injury every step of the way until it is completely healed. Bone fractures can be diagnosed by physical examination and an X-ray or CT scan. Immobilizing the area is often helpful in relieving pain before proper treatment begins. Treatment for bone fractures depends on the location and type of fracture, as well as the patient's medical history. We take all of these factors into account when developing a treatment plan.
Mild fractures, including stress and greenstick fractures, usually only require the conservative treatment methods of ice, rest and anti-inflammatory medication. Moderate fractures may require splints or braces along with pain medication. The immobilization helps relieve pain and speed up recovery. More severe fractures may require surgical treatment, especially open fractures with wounds that need to be closed.
After the proper treatment is performed, the rehabilitation process begins. It is important to care for your fracture while it heals. Full healing can take several weeks to several months. Dr. Zarate will advise you on how to care for your fracture and helpful measures you can take to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery.
To learn more about our Podiatry Services, please contact us at (847) 475-0200 today to schedule an appointment.