What's the most cost effective way to treat diabetic foot complications? Prevent them altogether with proper diabetic foot care!
Diabetic foot care is critical for prevention of ulcers and diabetic amputations. In fact, severe forms of diabetic nerve disease are a major contributing cause of lower-extremity amputations. National Diabetes Awareness Month is just a few weeks away, but we're celebrating early by educating you with MUST-KNOW tips on diabetic foot care.
Today's diabetic foot expert, Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider explains just how costly it can be to ignore diabetic foot pain.
Once a complication occurs, such as a foot ulcer, the costs of treatment can increase exponentially. Ulcers can cost $8,000 to treat, or possibly $17,000 if it becomes infected. Taking proper steps to prevent an ulcer or diabetic amputation is most certainly ideal!
How can you prevent diabetic foot complications from forming?
First, every person with diabetes should form an association with a podiatrist for routine foot checkups. These checks will help monitor circulation down the legs and into the foot, nerve sensation, and assess risk factors for formation of ulcers and wounds. Because wounds primarily form in areas of pressure, managing that pressure is critical. Even Medicare recognizes the value in shoes with insoles that will help prevent those pressures from causing problems. (Medicare may also cover a pair of shoes and several pair of insoles each year ) . The insoles are made of a soft material that redistributes the weight and alleviates areas of pressure. Many Podiatrists carry lines of diabetic footwear. Those who do not can refer you to someone who does carry diabetic footwear.
I always recommend that my patients with diabetes perform a quick foot check each evening before bedtime. What they look for is anything that wasn’t there the day before: redness, bleeding, etc. If you can't pick their feet up to see the bottom, try a mirrored scale - Its mirrored surface allows you to easily view the bottom of the foot for daily inspection. This way if you notice a problem, you will know it is no more than 24 hours old.
Experts say that people with diabetes need the right care to avoid diabetic amputation and keep their limbs. There will always be factors that put diabetics at greater risk of developing foot problems, but controlling your blood sugar while watching for the smallest sign of a problem will tip the scale in your favor.