According to the Center of Disease Control, nearly 26 million Americans live with diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of non‐traumatic lower‐limb amputation; however, amputations can be prevented. A recent independent study conducted by Duke University evaluated care by podiatrists for patients with diabetes and demonstrated that compared to other health‐care professionals, podiatrists are best equipped to treat lower extremity complications from diabetes, prevent amputations and reduce hospitalizations.
- Medicare‐eligible patients with diabetes were less likely to experience a lower extremity amputation if a podiatrist was a member of the patient care team.
- Patients with severe lower extremity complications who only saw a podiatrist experienced a lower risk of amputation compared with patients who did not see a podiatrist.
- A multidisciplinary team approach that includes podiatrists most effectively prevents complications from diabetes and reduces the risk of amputations.
Feet should be checked regularly for signs and symptoms of diabetes to help prevent serious complications. Symptoms in the feet such as redness, tingling and cuts that are not healing can lead to diabetic ulcers and even possible amputation without prompt medical care.
See the Diabetes Statistics (released January 2011) on the American Diabetes Association Website.
Are you experiencing foot problems related to diabetes? Contact Dr. Wichman for an in-home visit.