If you're diabetic, you know how important it is to control your blood sugars, to exercise and to watch your diet. But, do you and your family understand how important proper foot care is? Podiatry Today states that a full 15 percent of diabetics experience dangerous foot ulcers which can lead to localized infections, sepsis and even limb amputation. The professional staff at Diamond Podiatry in Quakertown, PA, wants you to understand diabetic wound care to improve your quality of life and prevent serious complications.
Causes of diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetics are prone to infection, decreased peripheral circulation and impaired sensation in the hands and feet. As such, even a small injury can cause an open sore (even down to the bone), callus build-up around the site, and infection.
Besides trauma to the foot, excess pressure or friction from poorly fitting shoes or bunched up socks can literally wear holes in the feet, particularly on the soles or on bony prominences such as the base of the big toe. Sometimes there's resulting pain. Sometimes the patient feels nothing at all. That's why primary care physicians and podiatrists urge their patients inspect their feet daily, looking for hard or reddened spots, abrasions, blisters or discolorations.
Finally, a big cause of impaired circulation in the diabetic foot is smoking. The doctors at Diamond Podiatry urge diabetics to start a smoking cessation program under the supervision of the primary care physician.
Diabetic wound care in Quakertown
Of course, blood glucose management is key to diabetic wound care. However, if a foot ulcer already has developed, you should see your podiatrist right away for treatment. He will evaluate your wound and chart out a care plan to heal it and to keep another from developing.
These steps commonly help diabetic foot wounds to heal successfully:
- Debridement of the wound This involves in-office removal of infected tissue and treatment with locally applied medications and/or oral antibiotics.
- Callus removal This takes pressure off the ulcer and helps correct gait problems.
- Decreasing pressure on the wound and any other areas prone to ulceration Your podiatrist may fit you with a special soft boot or cast or customized orthotics, or shoe inserts. He may simply recommend shoes which provide better support and more room in the toe box.
You can take control of your diabetes. Avoid foot ulcers with routine at-home care, and if you suspect you are developing a problem, contact Diamond Podiatry right away. The doctors and their staff want you to have the healthiest feet possible and a full, active life.
For an appointment at the Bethlehem or Macungie offices, call (610) 865-0311. In Quakertown, phone (215) 529-5222.
Bunions are something your grandmother used to complain about, right? Well, unfortunately, bunions plague today's American adult, too, with pain, inflammation, redness, and changes in gait. What exactly is a bunion? How can it be treated? And, if you have one, could bunion surgery help? For answers, learn from the experts at Diamond Podiatry in Macungie, Quakertown, and Bethlehem, PA. This team of four board-certified foot surgeons Dr. Robert Diamond, Dr. Brent Bernstein, Dr. Jung Lee and Dr. Eric Bronfenbrenner know this deformity well and can help you overcome it.
Exactly what is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony prominence located at the base of the big toe on the inner aspect of the foot. The location is the metatarsophalangeal joint, and it's particularly susceptible to pressure from tightly-fitting shoes, overuse, high heels, and obesity.
While people of all ages fall prey to the discomforts of bunions, women and the elderly tend to develop them more easily. Also, bunions seem to run in families. So if your grandmother had bunions, you could develop them, too.
Symptoms of bunions
Bunions can cause considerable pain and deformity. To compensate for the discomfort, the affected foot often develops thick skin on the sole or corns and calluses on the bunion itself or on other toes.
As a bunion worsens, it may turn the big toe toward the second and third toe, even overlapping them in extreme cases. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that claw toe and hammer toe deformities result from untreated bunions.
Your foot doctor at Diamond Podiatry can tell by physical examination and digital X-rays what treatments would help your bunion. Common sense strategies work in most instances and may include:
- Shoe padding
- Custom-made shoe inserts, or orthotics
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy
- Shoes with low heels, good support, and room in the toes
- Splints to re-align the big toe joint
Your podiatrist will customize a treatment plan based on his findings, your symptoms, and your lifestyle.
When surgery is needed
Bunionectomy is a last resort. However, when deformity, inflammation, stiffness, and pain seem intractable, your foot doctor may recommend it.
Foot surgeons approach bunion correction in a number of ways. Broadly, these operations center on the head of the metatarsal, or foot, bones. The very top of the bone is modified and the joint realigned and fixed in place with a screw or pin.
After surgery and healing, your foot doctor advises a program of physical therapy and stretching. Of course, proper footwear is a must to keep correct gait and avoid tension and pressure on the big toe joint.
Don't wait any longer. Contact Diamond Podiatry for a bunion consultation. In Bethlehem and Macungie, phone (610) 865-0311, and in Quakertown, call (215) 529-5222.
Do you have poor circulation in your lower extremities? if you do, you are at risk for the development of blood clots, unnoticed foot injuries and more. Your podiatrists in Macungie, Quakertown, and Bethlehem, PA, Dr. Robert Diamond and his professional colleagues at Diamond Podiatry, carefully assess individuals who complain of symptoms associated with poor blood flow to the feet and ankles. They help people improve the health of their lower extremities and keep them moving toward optimal health.
What are the symptoms of poor circulation?
The symptoms of poor circulation in the feet and legs vary from person to person. However, in general, people who come to Diamond Podiatry with limited blood flow complain of:
- Tingling and loss of sensation in the feet
- Aching and cramping after standing or walking
- Swelling of the feet
- Cold feet and hands
- Varicolse veins (thick, prominent, rope-like blood vessels
Symptoms may be limited, or they may be serious enough to indicate blockages in the arteries of the feet and legs (Peripheral Artery Disease), says the American Podiatric Medical Association. Problems with the arteries which pump oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body may become blocked with plaque related to high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, some lifestyle habits result in circulatory issues. People who eat a poor diet (low in protein, fiber and calcium) and who are overweight generally experience poor blood flow. Also, individuals who are sedentary and rarely engage in even simple exercise develop incompetent valves in their veins (varicose veins).
Individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are at risk, too. Of course, doctors add circulatory problems to the long list of adverse health effects smokers experience.
How your podiatrist in Macungie, Quakertown, and Bethlehem, PA can help
Dr. Diamond will perform a complete podiatric exam on your feet and legs. Then, according to his findings and your specific needs and health history, he'll recommend treatments to increase the blood flow in your feet. If he believes you're at risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots), Peripheral Artery Disease or varicose veins that require surgery, he will refer you to the appropriate specialist for treatment.
For simpler circulatory problems, Dr. Diamond recommends:
- Smoking cessation
- Blood sugar and blood pressure control
- Regular exercise
- Good supportive shoes and stockings
- Elevating the legs as needed
Come see us
If you have questions or concerns about the health of your feet and ankles, please contact Diamond Podiatry for a consultation with one of our highly qualified and compassionate podiatrists. You'll get the personal attention you need to get you on your feet again. Choose any one of our three offices:
- Bethlehem or Macungie, PA (610) 865-0311
- Quakertown, PA (215) 529-5222
Do your feet ache? Is heel pain a problem? Are you a runner and suffer from shin splints? These foot and ankle conditions and more often may be corrected with custom-made orthotics. Your Macungie, Quakertown, and Bethlehem, PA, podiatrists, Dr. Robert Diamond, Dr. Brent Bernstein, Dr. Jung Lee and Dr. Eric Bronfenbrenner at Diamond Podiatry, use these specialized shoe inserts to comfort, support and correct functional irregularities in the foot and ankle. Do you need custom orthotics?
Common foot issues
Feet hurt, feet swell, feet develop blisters and sores, and frequently, these things are avoidable or treatable, says your podiatrist in Macungie, Quakertown, and Bethlehem. Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, are simple interventions that fix functional foot problems and also accommodate arthritic feet or feet that need additional support due to
- congenital or acquired deformity
- poor circulation
Your foot doctor performs complete foot and ankle examinations at Diamond Podiatry and pinpoints the reasons for your discomfort or poorly functioning feet. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, orthotics may be combined with physical therapy, stretching exercises and other noninvasive interventions to treat:
- Heel pain from plantar fasciitis
- Flat feet
- Diabetic ulcers
- Heel spurs
- Ankle instability
- Hallux rigidus, or stiff big toe
- Morton's neuroma
- Shin splints and stiff knees and back in runners or other athletes
- Metatarsalgia, or pain in the front of the foot
While orthotics prescribed and crafted by your podiatrist cost more than drugstore shoe inserts, they also last for years. Plus, they are made for your unique foot shape, balance issues and placement of your feet as you walk or run.
Making custom orthotics
Previously, foot doctors exclusively used plaster molds to make orthotics. Now, your podiatrist uses more sophisticated methods to capture your footprint, foot shape and gait. Materials are innovative and long-lasting, too--typically plastic or even graphite.
Foam impressions are translated by computer to render a digital picture of your foot's unique shape. Then, that picture is converted to a three-dimensional model from which the orthotics are fabricated.
Are your feet complaining?
Then, why not contact Diamond Podiatry for a complete foot and ankle examination? Your issues may be easier to correct than you may think, and custom orthotics may be just what you need to stay active and pain-free. For our Bethlehem and Macungie offices, call (610) 865-0311, or for Quakertown, phone (215) 529-5222.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes don’t let foot problems happen to you.
It’s common for those with diabetes to also be at risk for a host of other health problems. Nerve damage is a common issue in those with diabetes and our goal as your Bethlehem, Macungie and Quakertown, PA, podiatrists are to prevent neuropathy and nerve pain whenever possible. Learn more about the symptoms of nerve damage in feet and what you can do to prevent it.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
One of the most common types of neuropathy that those with diabetes face is peripheral neuropathy. This condition often affects the legs and feet, but can also affect the arms and hands. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include,
- Tingling, numbness or weakness in the feet
- Shooting pains or cramping
- Poor balance
- Loss of coordination
- The inability to walk (in severe cases)
If you are experiencing any changes in your feet (whether pain, tingling, numbness or weakness) this is something that shouldn’t go ignored. Treat this like a medical emergency and visit our Bethlehem, Macungie and Quakertown, PA, foot doctor right away. Let us know what symptoms you are experiencing and we will make sure to pencil you in immediately.
How should you treat diabetic-related nerve pain?
If you frequently experience foot pains due to neuropathy you may be wondering the best ways to manage your discomfort. First and foremost, it’s important that you get your blood sugar under control. This is something you should work with your doctor to make sure that your blood sugar levels are normal. You can improve your blood sugar by taking certain medications and by making certain lifestyle changes (e.g. diet; exercise; quitting smoking).
In some situations where nerve pain is severe, we may prescribe medication to help relieve your pain. This is often the case if lifestyle modifications have failed to help manage your discomfort.
If you are looking for diabetic foot care in Bethlehem, Macungie or Quakertown, PA, then look no further than Diamond Podiatry & Podiatry Associates of the Lehigh Valley. If you are noticing any changes in your feet, give us a call right away.
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