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Diabetic Foot and Prevention of Amputation

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions worldwide, and one of its severe complications is the development of diabetic foot. This condition can lead to infections, ulcers, and in extreme cases, amputation. However, with proper care and preventive measures, the risk of severe complications can be significantly reduced.

Diabetic Foot

A diabetic foot occurs when nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation, common complications of diabetes, affect the feet. These conditions can lead to ulcers, infections, and in severe cases it may necessitates amputation.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Peripheral Neuropathy.
  • Poor Circulation and hindering the healing process.
  • Foot Deformities can create pressure points, leading to ulcers.
  • Minor injuries can become infected due to high blood sugar levels.


  • Numbness or Tingling: Reduced sensation in the feet.
  • Pain or Cramping often due to poor circulation.
  • Sores or Ulcers those that do not heal.
  • Swelling and Redness are the signs of infection.
  • Changes in Skin Color or Temperature indicate circulation issues.

Preventive Measures

  • Regular Foot Inspections for cuts, blisters, redness, or swelling.
  • Use a mirror to inspect the soles or ask for help if needed.
  • Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and mild soap.
  • Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Apply lotion to keep the skin soft, but avoid the area between the toes to prevent fungal infections.
  • Choose well-fitting, comfortable shoes that provide support.
  • Avoid walking barefoot to prevent injuries.
  • Trim your nails carefully.
  • Maintain optimal blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication.
  • Regular monitoring can help prevent complications.
  • Visit a healthcare professional for regular foot examinations.
  • A podiatrist can provide specialized care and advice.
  • Manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Quit smoking, as it impairs circulation.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Prompt medical attention is essential if you notice:

  • Persistent pain or swelling.
  • Ulcers that do not heal.
  • Signs of infection (pus, increased redness, warmth).
  • Changes in foot shape or color.

Preventing diabetic foot complications and the potential need for amputation requires vigilance and proactive care. By following these preventive measures, individuals with diabetes can maintain healthy feet and reduce the risk of severe complications.

Summary: Diabetic foot is a serious complication of diabetes, leading to ulcers and potential amputation. Preventive measures include daily foot inspections, proper hygiene, wearing appropriate footwear, managing blood sugar levels, and regular check-ups. Early detection and diligent care are crucial in reducing the risk of severe complications.

Dr. Visakh Varma
Consultant Podiatric Surgery
SUT Hospital, Pattom