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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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Intractable Plantar Keretosis (IPK)

An intractable plantar keretosis, or IPK, is a think, deep callus on the bottom of the foot. It is a painful condition caused by the misalignment of a metatarsal bone. The misaligned metatarsal increases pressure in the bottom of the foot. The misaligned metatarsal is referred to as a dropped metatarsal. When someone with a misaligned metatarsal takes a step, the misaligned bone comes in contact with the ground first. This creates tremendous pressure which causes extreme pain.

The least invasive treatment option for an IPK is for a doctor to trim it and pad it. The padding helps support the dropped metatarsal. Orthotics and metatarsal bars may be used to support the dropped metatarsal and alleviate the pressure it causes. A metatarsal bar is padding that fits into the shoe. It is used to reduce the pressure on the ball of the foot. Taping or strapping the foot may be used for pain relief.

Removal of the intractable plantar keretosis may be necessary or medically preferred. A doctor may use chemical or laser treatment to remove the IPK. Cantharone is the chemical used to remove an IPK. It is a painless procedure. However, the chemical causes the IPK to blister, so the area may be tender or painful for several days after treatment. The only post care instructions for chemical removal of a IPK is to keep the blister covered with a band aid. The laser treatment is also relatively painless. The doctor administers an injection of a local anesthetic, which is perhaps the most painful part of the procedure.

If the pain is persistent or if the IPK is caused by a bone deformity, surgery may be necessary. A doctor will be able to discuss the various treatment options and help the individual decide on the best treatment plan.


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