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Diabetes can have significant effects on the feet due to its impact on the nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to various foot complications. Here are some ways diabetes can affect your feet:
Neuropathy: Diabetes can cause nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition can lead to loss of sensation in the feet, making it difficult for individuals to feel pain, temperature changes, or even injuries.
Reduced blood flow: Diabetes can damage blood vessels and impair blood circulation, particularly to the extremities like the feet. Poor blood flow can hinder the body’s ability to heal, leading to slow wound healing and an increased risk of infection.
Foot ulcers: Due to neuropathy and reduced blood flow, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing foot ulcers.
Infections: Due to the combined effects of neuropathy and reduced blood flow, infections can develop more easily and spread rapidly in the feet.
Early detection and proactive foot care can significantly improve the quality of life for diabetic patients, reducing the risk of severe foot-related problems and enhancing overall well-being.
Our Podiatrists will review your medical history, including your diabetic management, any previous foot issues or complications, and any relevant medications.
This involves checking for loss of sensation in the feet by using a tuning fork, monofilament (a filament-like device), or other specialised tools to test your ability to feel touch, vibration, and temperature changes.
Our Podiatrists will examine pulses in the feet and lower legs to assess blood circulation and identify any signs of peripheral arterial disease.
The podiatrist will review the patient’s footwear to ensure it provides adequate support and protection for their feet.
Patients will receive guidance on proper foot hygiene, nail care, and how to recognise early signs of foot problems
If you have any foot ulcers or wounds, our podiatrist’s will evaluate the severity, assess for infection, and recommend appropriate wound care.
Observing how you walk (gait analysis) can help identify any issues with foot mechanics that may contribute to foot problems.
Based on the assessment findings, our podiatrist’s will develop an individualised foot care plan, which may include recommendations for footwear, wound care, exercises, and other preventive measures.
If necessary, our podiatrist’s may refer you to other specialists, such as vascular surgeons or wound care experts, for further evaluation and treatment.
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Your podiatrist will start out with a conservative treatment plan and only move on to more aggressive measures if needed. The following list is some of the approaches we take.
Custom orthotics are medical devices that are designed to provide support, cushioning, and correction to the feet and lower extremities. They are typically made from materials such as foam, plastic, or leather, and are custom-fitted to an individual’s foot shape and gait.
Orthotics can be used to treat a wide range of foot and lower limb conditions, including Mortons Neuroma, plantar fasciitis, flat feet, high arches, and heel spurs. They can also be used to provide support and cushioning for individuals with diabetes or arthritis.
At ModPod we have over 20 years of experience in prescribing orthotics. We would first start with a biomechanical assessment, moving on to a 3d scan of your foot. This scan is sent to our orthotic laboratory who manufactures the orthotic which is ready for fitting after 2 weeks.
A biomechanical examination typically involves the assessment of movement patterns when you are walking or running. The goal is to evaluate how the body is functioning, identify any potential areas of weakness or imbalance, and make recommendations for corrective exercises or treatments.
The examination may include a variety of tests and measurements, such as range of motion assessments, muscle strength, gait analysis, and postural analysis. At ModPod we utilise video treadmill assessments and digital pressure analysis.
Before considering surgery you need to have exhausted all of your conservative treatment options. As with all surgery, there is a risk of complications.
There are several surgical procedures available to treat neuromas, including:
Neuroma Excision: This procedure involves removing the affected nerve tissue completely. It is a common surgical approach and is usually done on an outpatient basis.
Nerve Decompression: This procedure involves releasing the pressure on the nerve and surrounding tissues. The surgeon may remove the ligament or tissue that is pressing on the nerve to relieve the pain.
Your surgeon will decide which procedure is best for you based on your symptoms, medical history, and physical examination.
After the surgery, you may need to wear a surgical shoe or boot and avoid weight-bearing activities for several weeks
While it may not be possible to prevent Morton’s Neuroma entirely, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition. These include wearing comfortable shoes with plenty of room for your toes, avoiding high heels or shoes with pointed toes, and engaging in low-impact exercises that do not put excessive pressure on the feet.
Morton’s Neuroma can be diagnosed through a physical examination and by taking a detailed history. In some cases an ultrasound may be needed to determine the size and location of the neuroma.
The most common symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma include pain in the ball of the foot, tingling or numbness in the toes, a feeling that there is a small pebble or lump in the shoe, and a burning sensation in the toes or ball of the foot.
Surgery might be required if other therapeutic options fail. There are different types of surgery for Morton’s neuroma, and your medical team will choose the best option for you depending on the specific characteristics of your case. This is usually a last resort.
Chronic pain: The persistent pain associated with Morton’s neuroma can make it difficult to walk, stand, or engage in physical activity, which can negatively impact your quality of life.
Foot deformities: Over time, Morton’s neuroma can cause the affected toes to become permanently contracted or misaligned, which can lead to other foot deformities.
Nerve damage: In some cases, Morton’s neuroma can cause permanent nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or tingling in the affected area.
Reduced mobility: If your Morton’s neuroma symptoms are severe enough, you may have difficulty walking or standing for extended periods of time, which can limit your mobility and independence.
It is important to seek treatment for Morton’s neuroma to prevent these potential complications from occurring.
If your Morton’s neuroma symptoms persist or worsen despite treatment, it is important to speak with your Podiatrist. Your podiatrist may recommend additional tests, such as an MRI, to further evaluate the condition and rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. They may also recommend a different treatment approach, such as a different type of medication or a more invasive procedure, depending on the severity of your condition.
If your pain is severe and interfering with your daily activities, your podiatrist may refer you to a specialist, such as a orthopedic surgeon, for further evaluation and treatment.
It is important to seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms persist or worsen, as delaying treatment may lead to further complications or permanent nerve damage.
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