Diabetic Foot Management
A diabetic foot is any pathology that results directly from peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and/or sensory neuropathy affecting the feet in diabetes mellitus; it is a long-term (or “chronic”) complication of diabetes mellitus. Presence of several characteristic diabetic foot pathologies such as infection, diabetic foot ulcer and neuropathic osteoarthropathy is called diabetic foot syndrome.
Due to advanced peripheral nerve dysfunction associated with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), patients’ feet have a reduced ability to feel pain. This means that minor injuries may remain undiscovered for a long while, and hence may progress to a full-thickness diabetic foot ulcer.
Where wounds take a long time to heal, infection may set in. spreading to bones and joints, and lower limb amputation may be necessary. Foot infection is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation in people with diabetes.
Treatment of diabetic foot ulceration can be challenging and prolonged; it may include surgery, antimicrobial drugs and topical dressings.