Orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist reviews self-care tips
ROSEMONT, Ill., Nov. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Need a quick overview of what diabetes does to the feet and what you can do to stay healthy? Visit the newest patient education video from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AFOAS) featuring Michael Pinzur, MD, of Maywood, Ill.
"Diabetic foot is a very challenging problem," Pinzur says. "There are 25 million diabetics in the United States, and a large percentage of them have what we call peripheral neuropathy or loss of protective sensation. There will be 60,000 lower extremity amputations this year in the United States due to diabetes," and the mortality rate for those amputees will rise significantly.
Since minor injuries can quickly become major problems for diabetics, Pinzur and other orthopaedic foot and ankle MDs offer commonsense approaches to self-care, including daily inspections of the feet for blisters, scratches, cuts and nail problems that could lead to infection. Other tips:
- Trim toe nails straight across. Cutting nails at the corners can lead to ingrown toe nails and infection.
- Don't put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
- Wear properly fitting shoes made of soft materials with a shock-absorbing sole.
- Don't smoke. Smoking decreases the blood supply to the feet, which can delay wound healing.
"Foot ulcers and infection associated with diabetes not only consume a huge amount of resources for their care, they disable people and take them out of the workforce," says Pinzur. "This is one of the few places in medicine where preventive strategies really work."
To hear more from Pinzur, visit The Diabetic Foot page at FootCareMD, the patient education website of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). Or visit these pages for tips on managing foot care when you are a diabetic:
- Diabetic Foot Overview
- How to Care for Your Diabetic Feet
- Shoes and Orthotics for Diabetics
- How to Prevent Losing Your Leg
About the AOFAS
The AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through the education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. The Society creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders and serves as a resource for national and international health care communities.
About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. Relying on four years of medical school training, five years of post-graduate training and often a fellowship in orthopaedic foot and ankle care, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage and treat trauma of the foot and ankle.
SOURCE American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society