Diabetic foot

We pay particular attention to your feet

Do you have dry and chapped feet? For diabetics, that can be a problem. With diabetes, not only does your metabolism get out of balance, but the circulation can also be disturbed. This makes your skin more susceptible to infections. Because wound healing is delayed, infections can easily occur. This is called diabetic foot syndrome, or in short: diabetic foot. If you suffer from a circulatory disturbance, you should check your feet every day. Once a year, you should visit a doctor.

Our foot specialists at Schoen Clinic have many years of experience in treating diabetic foot. Thanks to our large range of treatment options, we can offer you exactly the right treatment.

Causes & symptoms

What is diabetic foot?

In diabetics, disturbances to the nervous system and to circulation can bring about serious damage to the foot. Through disturbed sensations and the increased occurrence of open, poorly healing wounds, infections, and even the breaking of bones can occur. The earlier changes in your feet are recognised, the better are the chances that you will preserve your foot.

Causes: How does diabetic foot occur?

In diabetes there can be disturbances of the large and small blood vessels. If the small blood vessels are clogged, they can no longer supply your cells. Thus your tissues are supplied with less blood and the oxygen supply is reduced. As a consequence of this, even the smallest wounds heal only very slowly.

A nervous complaint (diabetic polyneuropathy) can also lead to diabetic foot. This usually begins with a reduction in your sensitivity, which you, yourself, do not even notice. Alongside this, the muscle function is impaired – misalignments such as claw toes, hammer toes and hallux valgus occur. These place high bone pressure on the skin above them. Wounds can then arise on the pressure points. These wounds are not painful, but heal only very slowly. These are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria: An open foot wound can therefore trigger severe infections. Now it is absolutely paramount that you have your foot treated in good time, so that the infection does not progress and spread to muscles and joints.

Due to malfunctions in the bone metabolism, a weakening of bones can also occur. This is called diabetic neuroarthropathy or Charcot arthropathy. In this, the bone tissue partially dies off and the foot can completely collapse. Because this does not cause pain, due to the damaged sensitivity, the disease is not always easy to identify.

Symptoms: Signs, with which you should be vigilant

If you become aware of reduced sensitivity in your foot or notice that even small wounds heal only very slowly, this is an indication of diabetic foot. Sometimes there can be a loss of shape of the foot or prominent bony spurs. Also in the event of an overheated foot, an open foot wound or a hot or swollen foot, you should not hesitate to visit a specialist.

An infection can be recognised from redness in the area surrounding the wound. This infection can spread to the bones or the joint or into the soft tissues.

Diagnostics

Diagnosis: Nerve disorders and chronic wounds as warning signs

As a diabetic, you should be informed about whether you suffer from a nerve disorder (diabetic polyneuropathy). The examinations for this are carried out by a diabetologist, neurologist or your general practitioner.

In Schoen Clinic, our specialists carefully examine misalignments, pressure points and chronic wounds. During a physical examination we carefully check whether or not the misalignments level out through finger pressure. Dislocated joints with the displacement of bone edges towards the skin can usually also be felt easily.

We will then look in detail at your foot skeleton on the X-ray image. Here it can be seen whether the bone and joints are damaged - and the extent of any damage. If the bone has already died off, or if there is already pronounced fluid retention, magnetic resonance imaging is necessary.