Doctors often fail to warn diabetic patients that what may be a small foot injury for most people could be a very serious injury for them.
Any ulcer in the foot of a diabetic or other issue is extremely likely to cause serious problems.
Studies show that even minor lesions can become major foot problems for diabetic patients. Experts are saying it is important to bring attention to this issue, as diabetics are known to have to face terrible foot amputations and related problems when issues go untreated.
Researchers say even minor injuries need to be treated with great care.
The author of the study said, “I hope medical specialists, and other health care practitioners will use this knowledge and implement it in clinical practice. Ulcer recurrence is a debilitating condition for the patient, risking further complications such as infection and amputation, and influencing loss of patient mobility and quality of life.”
Reuters offers statistics, “In the U.S., 26 million Americans have diabetes. Every year, 65,700 of these patients have lower-limb amputations. People with diabetes often lose feeling in their feet as a result of nerve damage, known as myelopathy. The lack of sensation makes diabetics prone to injure their feet without realizing it, and allows small wounds to grow into serious ulcers that can eventually lead to infection or gangrene.”
The study looked at around two hundred diabetic patients. Reuters reports, “Among those 41, the people who had minor lesions when the study began were nine times more likely than those who didn't to develop an ulcer. Often the wounds were in the same place as a previous ulcer, suggesting there was ongoing pressure or injury happening at that spot, according to the researchers. Patients who wore shoes customized to the pressure points of their feet, however, had a 57 percent lower risk of developing a new ulcer compared to those who didn't.”
Dr. Armstrong who specializes in the field but did not take part in the study told Reuters, “Myelopathy is a massive problem, it's silent, and it doesn't hurt, even in instances of gangrene. It's no one's fault, but no one pays attention to it. This study opens up avenues for prevention.”