Diabetic Foot Care and Foot Salvage

When you have diabetes, daily wear and tear can take its toll on your feet especially in areas that
absorb the most pressure. Because of poor blood circulation or loss of feeling in your feet, even a
minor problem, such as a tiny crack in your skin or ingrown toenails, may develop into a serious

Infections of the foot are usually caused by bacteria but are occasionally caused by a virus or
fungus. They range from simple superficial infections to more complex deep infections involving
tendons or bone. All potential infections are taken very seriously. Symptoms may include pain,
tenderness, swelling, redness, warmth, drainage, odor, and even fever. Some infections form a
pocket of "pus" or abscess.

Mild skin infections can be treated non-surgically with antibiotics and careful observation.
Sometimes, these infections will not respond to this type of treatment alone. If the infection involves
deeper structures of the foot such as tendons and bone or if an abscess is present, surgery is
required. The purpose of surgery is to eliminate all infected tissue from the wound. Some infections
such as those around the edge of a toenail may only require removal of the nail for drainage. Other
more serious infections require complex debridements involving soft tissue and/or bone. It is critical
to isolate the responsible bacteria so that the correct antibiotics can be given. In certain cases, the
wounds are left open for daily dressing changes and to prevent recurrence of the infection.

Because diabetes is a systemic disease affecting many different parts of the body, ideal case
management requires a team approach. We at Park Plaza Foot Specialists will perform a thorough
podiatric evaluation of your overall health and condition of your feet. We are part of a healthcare team
working closely with Internal Medicine, Vascular Surgery, and Infectious Disease to keep your feet