Podiatrist Dr. Alissa Zdancewicz — her patients mostly call her “Dr. Z” — says diabetics make up a growing share of her practice. She meets some of them for the first time in the ER. “What I will see most likely is a diabetic, poorly controlled, admitting glucose over 500,” she says. “They may not have a fever, because of their immune response. They will put off going to the emergency room because they don’t feel so bad. So now their foot is red, swollen, and they are not only learning they’re diabetic, but they’re going to lose a portion of their toe or their foot, and they’re in the hospital. It can be an overwhelming experience.”
|Dr. Alissa Zdancewicz
The cause is a callus that becomes ulcerated, explains Zdancewicz, who is president of the ManaSota Podiatric Medical Association. At worst, the wound can develop gangrene or sepsis, both potentially fatal. “The callus breaks down the skin, as if you’re walking on a rock, and then instead of draining out as a normal wound would, it drains in — into your foot,” she says. “If that happens, it can degrade the inner tissue, and it can become a festering infection already affecting the bone. That’s when you’re looking at an amputation. When it’s caught early, it can be cleared up.”
Source: Barbara Peteres Smith, Herald Tribune [5/6/17]
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PMP News.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's Foot Clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.