At Burrard Podiatry our doctors provide every patient with individualized and specialized diabetic foot care. The services we offer include, but are not limited to:
- Screening for potential foot complications and risk assessment
- Risk management
- Regular preventive foot care including trimming of nails and callouses
- Treatment of foot complications such as sores, ulcers or infections,
- Charcot foot treatment,
- Risk-lowering elective surgery
- Emergency surgery for acute foot infections.
People with diabetes typically have 3 common fears:
- Could I lose my eyesight?
- Could I lose my kidney function? and
- Could I lose a foot or leg?
According to the International Diabetes Federation if you have diabetes your foot fears are justified. Worldwide every thirty seconds a leg is lost to diabetes, fifty per cent of those who lose a leg to diabetes lose the other leg within 3 to 5 years, and up to fifty per cent of those who lose a leg to diabetes die within 3 years of the amputation. Eight-five per cent of amputations are preceded by a foot wound or sore, known as an ulcer.
The statistics are not encouraging, but if you have diabetes there are several things you can do to improve your odds. Most importantly, if you have diabetes you need to know your risk for potential foot problems.
Individuals with diabetes have high blood sugars. But the effect of high blood sugars is different in every diabetic patient as is their risk of foot complication and, or amputation. One significant risk factor for potential foot problems is peripheral neuropathy, or loss of feeling in the feet, which in most cases, is caused by high blood sugars. Up to sixty per cent of people with diabetes will have feeling loss in their feet after twenty years of diabetes. Feeling loss may be silent and go unnoticed. Or for some individuals, feeling loss can be very painful.
The nerves to the feet are like a home security system for the feet. Peripheral neuropathy is like a broken alarm system. Feet without feeling, or neuropathy, are prone to undetected injury that can result in sores and infections, which can lead to amputation. Foot screening can test for feeling loss. If you have feeling loss your risk for foot complications is increased. The nerves to the feet are not repairable, but the risk for foot complications can be reduced with preventive foot care.
If you have diabetes and foot complications, such as a non-healing sore or wound, you need to get immediate treatment directed towards amputation prevention.
The good news is that research has shown that treatment and regular preventive foot care goes a long way toward lowering the risk for foot complications and preventing amputations.
Most diabetes related foot complications are predictable, preventable, and treatable. At Burrard Podiatry our highly specialized diabetic foot care is directed towards amputation prevention. Both Drs. Kalla and Yung have completed podiatric surgical residencies with a focus on the diabetic foot.
If you have diabetes don’t ignore your feet and foot care. Get your feet checked regularly. If you have a foot problem such as a non-healing sore or ulcer do not delay treatment. Your feet can last a lifetime.