Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Frostbite is the freezing of tissue. The toes are susceptible to frostbite in times of cold weather. Skin that has sustained frostbite is cold, hard, and waxy. The area may be numb or experience aching pain. Severe cases of frostbite can cause blisters, gangrene, or damage to tissue deeper than the skin such as tendons and muscles.

If frostbite occurs, it must be handled with care to prevent further tissue damage. If frostbite is suspected, the person should enter a warm environment and remove all wet clothing. Parts that appear to be damaged should be immersed in warm water. The water should not be hot. If there are blisters present, they should be left undisturbed.

The person should dress in clean, dry clothing and seek immediate medical attention. If the feet are affected, the person should try to avoid putting much weight on that foot. The person can apply warm compresses until medical attention is obtained. Heating pads should not be used. Movement of the affected area should be limited.

The person should not rub the affected area. There is a old wives tale that suggests the application of snow to frostbite. This is potentially dangerous and can result in further damage. Any areas that have been affected by frostbite should be protected from refreezing while medical attention is sought. The area should be kept covered with warm blankets. Further exposure to cold should be limited as much as possible.

The person should not smoke or consume alcohol while recovering from frostbite. Smoking and alcohol consumption restrict circulation. Good circulation is extremely important for healing from frostbite to occur.

To prevent frostbite, exposure to cold and snow should be limited. If clothing becomes wet while the person is outdoors in winter, they should change into dry clothing immediately. If someone must be outdoors in winter conditions, they should wear many layers of clothing including two socks on each foot.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What Is Flat Feet (Pes Planus)? Fallen Arches - Flat Foot

Flat feet is a foot condition in which the arch is leveled with the foot’s entire sole. About 20% of the total population are hit with this condition. In some cases, it may only be either the right or the left foot which did not develop an arch. But it is also possible that both feet can be struck with this condition. Another term for flat feet is “fallen arches”. However, flat feet do not cause a person to decrease walking or running speed.

Flat feet actually occurs normally among children specifically during infancy. But it is expected that as they grow older, they will also begin to develop a foot arch. The reason behind flat feet among infants is that their inherent baby fat masks the arch for the time being. Also, that arch is still not fully developed during that time. That arch found on the foot area gets developed as humans use their feet for mobile purposes. Thus, the muscle and bone structure get developed and eventually form the arch. By a child’s sixth year, the arch is expected to become fully developed and obvious.

Since flat feet is normal and children would not be able to diagnose any abnormal development, it is highly advised that parents take note of this development with their children. Aside from inspecting it visually, parents should also take note of the way their child walks. Abnormal development resulting to permanent flat feet can be seen through walking through the feet’s edges. A child who tends to limp during long walks may be experiencing progressive pain from walking. They can describe the pain similar to that of being pricked by needles beneath their feet’s surface. Other pain complaints within the foot area can also be a symptom of flat feet. For children, it is still easy to treat such disorder since their bone and muscle structure is still flexible enough to shape along as they continue to age and develop.

Flat feet can also be acquired during adulthood. Even if you have developed an arch, external factors may cause you to adopt flat feet upon adulthood. The following reasons are considered as risk factors:

1. Injury
2. Disease
3. Excessive stress placed on either foot
4. Abnormal biomechanics
5. Pregnancy

If flat feet is acquired during adulthood, it remains so permanently. However, there is another kind of flat foot which can happen for adults and even adolescents. If the person who has flat feet can still have an arch when they dorsiflex, they have a case which is also known as flexible flat foot. Standing on tip toes and arching the toes while the rest of the foot remains laying flat on the floor are examples of dorsiflex action. But this does not guarantee that a permanent arch can be developed unless the foot continues to grow. Although muscle training can help develop and make things better for a flat footed person, this cannot increase the arch development because the human foot contains short sized muscles.

A flat feet expert is called a podiatrist. In diagnosing a person who is suspected to have flat feet, the “wet foot test” is used. In this, the patient is asked to wet his or his feet through the use of water and then the patient would need to stand next on a paper or even a cemented surface. The results would be based on the impressions left on the area. If there are no dry areas observed, this means that the patient positively has flat feet.

Treatments used for flat feet are usually for maintenance purposes and to help people walk properly. Unless they become too painful, they don’t need any medical care. Insoles are a popular choice of treatment or help for those who wanted to walk normally. This method helps by cupping the heels and creating an artificial arch. But sometimes, it may become uncomfortable for the wearer.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Diabetic Foot

Diabetes affects the body in many ways. The feet are not exempt from the damaging effects of diabetes. With proper care, many foot problems can be avoided. Any foot problems that arise should receive medical attention.

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage due to diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy limits the individual’s ability to feel cold, pain, or heat in the extremities. A sore or cut on the foot may be neglected since the person may not feel the injury.

Diabetes causes poor circulation. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a disease that impacts the circulation to the extremities. It is commonly caused by diabetes. The decrease in circulation reduces the body’s ability to heal from sores and cuts to the extremities, such as the feet.

Peripheral vascular disease can be worsened by smoking since smoking constricts blood vessels.
Sores and cuts on the feet of someone with diabetes can become easily infected. This is because the person may not even feel the cut or sore. The injury is likely to get worse without any treatment. Once it becomes infected, the extra glucose encourages the infection. The poor circulation limits the ability for the injury to heal.

If the infection persists, gangrene can develop. Gangrene causes the death of the tissue around the cut or sore. The area may become black and emit a foul odor. Amputation may be necessary to prevent its spread.

Someone with diabetes should carefully check their feet every day. They should also be checked by the nurse or doctor at every doctor appointment. Prompt medical treatment of any sores or cuts can prevent severe problems from developing.

People with diabetes should wash their feet in warm water every day. Since diabetic neuropathy impairs the feet’s ability to detect heat, the temperature should be carefully checked before use. People with diabetes should not soak their feet unless otherwise directed to do so by a physician. Lotion can be applied to dry skin on the feet, but not between the toes.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Sesamoiditis is a form of tendonitis. Sesamoids are small bones that are not connected at a joint to other bones. Instead, a sesamoid acts with a tendon. It provides a surface for the tendon and acts like a pulley. There are two sesamoids located in the foot. The sesamoids are located near the underside of the big toe. They support the bones of the big toe, help absorb impact, and help with weight-bearing pressure.

Sesamoiditis occurs when the tendon and tissue around the sesamoid becomes inflamed and irritated. Activities that repeatedly place excessive pressure on the ball of the foot can lead to sesamoiditis. Athletes, especially baseball catchers and ballet dancers, are at risk for this condition. Sesamoiditis may cause pain or swelling. Pain may gradually worsen. The pain is usually felt under the big toe and in the ball of the foot.

The doctor will examine and manipulate the foot to determine the origin of the pain. The doctor is likely to question the patient about the onset of the symptoms. Pain from sesamoiditis has a gradual onset. If the sesamoid was fractured or broken, the pain was likely to occur immediately after the injury. An x-ray or bone scan is often used to determine if the sesamoid is broken or fractured. The doctor may tape the big toe in the position of being bent slightly bent downward. Shoes worn during recovery should be soft-soled with a low heel. Shoe pads may be recommended by the physician.

The doctor may suggest resting and applying ice packs to the foot. Pain relievers, such as over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended. If swelling is problematic, the doctor may administer a local steroid injection. If these treatments do not alleviate the symptoms, the doctor may prescribe the use of a leg brace or below-the-knee walking cast.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Heel Fracture

It takes a tremendous amount of force to fracture a heel bone. Such force is not commonly sustained. An automobile accident or a fall from considerable height are possible causes. If such force has been exerted on the heel, it is likely to coincide with back injury as well.

Symptoms of a heel fracture are pain, swelling, and an inability to bear any weight on the injured foot. The pain could be felt on the outside of the ankle or on the bottom of the heel. A doctor will use x-rays to diagnose the condition. A computed tomography (CT) scan may also be used. The doctor will check for nerve damage as well.

The doctor will determine if the injury will respond best to surgical or nonsurgical treatment methods. Nonsurgical treatment includes elevating the foot and the periodic application of ice packs. A bulky dressing will be applied to eliminate the risk of the bone shifting. A splint may be used to restrict movement and support the injured foot.

If the bone has shifted due to the injury, surgery may be required. A metal plate and screws may be used to stabilize the bone. In order to promote healing, a bone graft may be used. After surgery, the foot will be bandaged and splinted.

With nonsurgical treatment, the heel fracture should heal in six to eight weeks. Recovery from surgical treatment often requires at least ten weeks. It may take up to a year for the heel fracture to heal completely. Even after the heel fracture is healed, the person may continue to experience foot problems. This is due to the extreme force to which the foot was subjected. Orthopedics or a cane may need to be used to treat the foot problems or reduce the amount of pressure exerted on the heel while walking and standing.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Wants To Help People With Foot Health Problems

Hi and welcome to Foot Care Advice blog, here you will find a lot of brief, informative articles to talk about topics related to our feet.

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice.

Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

Thank you for visiting us, hope you have a pleasant stay.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a condition that results from the tearing or overstretching of the posterior tibial tendon. This tendon runs from the calf to the arch of the foot. When functioning correctly, the posterior tibial tendon holds up the arch of the foot and supports the foot while the person is walking.

This condition mostly affects women over fifty years of age. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases are risk factors for developing posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Previous local steroid injections and previous surgery or injury increase a person’s risk for this condition. Athletes are at risk for tearing the posterior tibial tendon.

Injury to the posterior tibial tendon can cause pain and swelling of the ankle. It can lead to the gradual loss of the arch of the foot, eventually leading to the person becoming flatfooted. The person with a compromised posterior tibial tendon may experience difficulty standing on their toes. Besides pain in the ankle, the individual may experience pain in the middle of the foot, especially during activity.

If left untreated, this disorder can lead to arthritis and an increase pain. There are a number of treatment options. An x-ray, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be ordered to help the doctor diagnose the condition. After an examination, the doctor can recommend the best treatment based on how far the condition has progressed.

Noninvasive treatment can involve rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and possibly a cast or splint to protect the tendon from overuse. Various surgical methods are used to treat posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. A tendon transfer consists of the surgical transplantation of some fibers from one tendon to repair the damaged posterior tibial tendon. Lateral column lengthening is a recreation of the arch of the foot. A tenosynovectomy is a procedure that includes the removal of the inflamed tissue in the area of the damaged tendon.

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