Get the Fact on Your Foot or Ankle Condition in Our Podiatry FAQ
Our patients are full of questions both before and during treatment. In order to help patients find relief as quickly as possible, our Florida podiatrists have compiled the most popular questions about bunions, diabetic foot injuries, ingrown toenails, and more on one page. Search our FAQ for fast answers!
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What causes peripheral arterial disease?
Peripheral arterial disease is a condition that causes reduced blood flow, which is particularly evident in the feet and lower limbs. In a broad sense, peripheral arterial disease is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) along artery walls. Arteries are the blood vessels oxygenated blood travels through to deliver essential nutrients to tissue throughout the body. (Veins, on the other hand, are the blood vessels leading back to the heart.)
When plaques collect along arterial walls, it restricts how much blood can flow through them at any given time.
There are several factors that contribute to peripheral arterial disease, including diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol levels, family history, old age, and obesity. This condition can be dangerous – since it increases your risk of stroke, heart attacks, and neuropathy. Being aware of these causes is a good first step in taking measures to reduce your risk and recognizing the problem early. Many of the factors contributing to this condition can be managed with lifestyle changes.
Understanding the causes of peripheral arterial disease is important, but it is also important to see us at one of our five Florida offices when you recognize the effects of this condition in your lower limbs. Our doctors are expertly trained in conditions affecting your lower limbs, so call Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you call from Lake County) for additional information or to request an appointment.
What are treatment options for Charcot foot?
One of the reasons you should have a comprehensive diabetic foot care plan is to reduce your risk of developing Charcot foot. This condition can develop when nerve damage and restricted blood flow—both of which are related to diabetes—weaken foot bones and cause an inability to feel when damage has been sustained. When these issues exist together, it can lead to severe deformity.
The goals for Charcot foot treatment are to heal the broken bones and prevent further deformity and joint destruction. In some cases, this might be achieved via nonsurgical treatments like orthotics and custom shoes. Body weight should be kept off of affected limbs to protect the weakened bones as well.
Nonsurgical care is most effective when administered early. For conditions that have existed for longer time periods, or more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.
Prevention is the best form of treatment for Charcot foot. This can be achieved with a robust diabetic foot care plan, managing your diabetic condition, and coming to see us for regular foot care appointments.
Charcot foot is a big concern when you have diabetes, but it certainly is not the only one. If you are diabetic, it is important to have the guidance of an expert podiatrist to help prevent serious medical conditions from developing. For additional information, or to request an appointment with one of our offices (Orlando, Kissimmee, Tavares, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs), simply give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you call from Lake County).
How can diabetic individuals avoid amputation?
One of the leading causes of lower limb amputations is diabetes. If you are diabetic, you can take measures to reduce your risk. Collectively, these measures are part of a diabetic foot care plan created with the help of our doctors to help you manage possible lower limb complications.
Specific measures to help you avoid lower limb amputation include:
- Daily foot inspections. Every night, check your feet for anything that looks out of the ordinary.
- STOP smoking. Smoking contributes to nerve damage, and circulatory problems which may leave you unable to feel damage in your lower extremities.
- Control your blood sugar. High glucose levels also damage nerves.
- Choose shoes carefully. Our office can provide recommendations for diabetic footwear to keep you safe.
- Be careful when clipping your toenails. Improper nail trimming practices increase the risk for ingrown toenails, which can open the door for potential infections. Our office can provide routine foot care.
For additional information, or to have one of our doctors help you create a diabetic foot care plan, call Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (when you call from Lake County). Our staff will schedule an appointment for you at one of our five offices in Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Kissimmee, and Tavares.
How does diabetes affect my feet?
Diabetes has wide-ranging effects on the health of the entire body. It is especially important not to overlook the implications it can have on the feet. The excess glucose in the blood stream from diabetes can cause problems like neuropathy (nerve damage) and PAD-peripheral arterial disease (narrowed blood vessels).
Neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease are a concern when present on their own. Neuropathy causes pain, tingling and burning sensations, and numbness of the feet while PAD can increase the risk of non-healing foot wounds. These conditions can combine to increase the risk of Charcot foot (severe foot deformity) if left untreated.
Diabetic neuropathy can also turn otherwise minor issues (blisters, calluses, tiny cuts, etc.) into potentially dangerous foot ulcers. The loss of blood supply to the affected tissue can cause gangrene if left untreated. Diabetic ulcers are a leading cause of limb amputation.
If you have diabetes, you need to give special attention to your feet. Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida can help you create an effective diabetic foot care plan to keep you safe. Contact us for more information by calling 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (for those in Lake County) or request an appointment online at one of our five Florida offices.