Diabetic foot occurs in 10% of all diabetics. It causes blockages and hardening of small to medium sized blood vessels particularly the vessels below the knee. Diabetic patients with peripheral vascular disease have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and amputation.

THERE ARE 3 COMPONENTS TO DIABETIC FOOT:

  • Ischemia-blood vessels are blocked and hardened, reducing blood flow to the feet/leg
  • Neuropathy-nerves are damaged which reduces sensation in the leg/foot
  • Infection-the tissues are rich in glucose which is ideal for bacterial growth

 

 

What Are the Symptoms

  • Reduced sensation in the foot/leg
  • Presence of ulcers or gangrene areas
  • Infection or inflammed areas in the foot/leg
  • Symptoms of peripheral vascular disease

Investigations

  • ABI/TPI
  • Duplex scan
  • Direct Angiography
  • CT /MR Angiography

Screening tests (ABI/TPI) for:

  • Diabetics >50 years
  • Diabetics < 50years with smoking, high cholesterol or hypertension Treatment

 

Treatment

Medical

  • Control of blood pressure, cholesterol and stop smoking
  • Antiplatelet therapy
  • Other medications-to improve circulation
  • Proper wound/ulcer care

Surgical

  • Angioplasty/stenting
  • Bypass surgery
  • Amputation/debridement surgery