Causes and Types of Diabetic Foot Problems
The Foot: Anatomically, the portion of the foot that touches the ground is divided into 3 sections: Forefoot, Midfoot and Hindfoot corresponding to front, middle and rear (heel). We are concerned with the forefoot. toes and ball of foot) . The Ulcer: Ulcers are open sores. Forefoot ulcers are open sores on the ball of the foot picture on right) or on the toes (picture on left).
What causes forefoot ulcers: Ulcers are caused by high forefoot pressure from tight calf muscles and lack of feeling in the foot. Nerve damage, usually from diabetes, causes tight tendons and reduces the (feeling) sense of touch.
Pressure causes stress, stress causes calluses, calluses cause ULCERS
Ulcers get inflected and infections lead to AMPUTATIONS
Treatment: For toes: Surgically lengthening the "flexor tendons"
on the toe(s) is shown to be an effective method of assisting the healing
process. This procedure takes approximately 15 minutes and is performed
in the doctor's office. Ball of foot ulcers: Surgically lengthening
the heel cord or stretching calf muscles is shown to be an effective
method of assisting the healing process. This procedure takes approximately
45 minutes and is performed in a hospital at outpatient surgical center.
Patients go are discharged after the procedure.