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Diabetic Foot & Revascularization In Them!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Pravin Narkhede 90% (119 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Peripheral Vascular Surgery, DNB - General Surgery, MNAMS
Vascular Surgeon, Nashik  •  13 years experience
Diabetic Foot & Revascularization In Them!

When you have diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin or loses the ability to utilize it. When this happens, your blood sugar level goes up. Diabetes can affect all organs of the body. Your feet are no exception.

How does diabetes affect the foot?

There are two ways in which the foot may be affected by diabetes -

  1. Diabetic neuropathyDiabetes can damage the nerves of the feet so that you lose all sensations in your extremities. So you can no longer feel any irritation or pain in your feet. If sores/cuts/blisters develop on your feet, you won’t know and they may fester and get infected.
  2. Peripheral vascular disease: This disorder affects the blood vessels of your limbs. Fatty deposits clog the blood vessels that carry blood from your feet to your heart. So blood flow is cut off to the feet. This may lead to pain, numbness, swelling, slow healing of wounds or infection.
  3. Ischemic foot: When blood flow to the feet is interrupted, you may develop an ischemic foot, which is characterized by cold skin, loss of hair from the legs and discoloration. In extreme cases, the affected foot may have to be amputated.

What are the symptoms of diabetic foot?
The range of symptoms depend on the intensity of the disorder and vary from one patient to another-

  • Tingling sensation in the feet
  • Numbness of the feet
  • Blisters or wounds that refuse to heal
  • Discoloration of the skin of the feet
  • Stains on the inside of your socks
  • Deformed feet

If an infection has set in, some symptoms that will manifest are-

  • Trembling of the limbs and arms
  • Spiking blood sugar
  • Shock
  • Redness and swelling of the feet

Complications
The complications that may arise out of diabetic foot are-

  • Ulcers of the foot
  • Abscesses
  • Gangrene and death of tissues
  • Charcot’s Foot or fractures and dislocations of the bones of the feet
  • Deformity of the feet

Revascularization for diabetic foot

Chronic diabetic foot can be treated with multiple revascularization methods like synthetic conduits, endarterectomy, balloon angioplasty, arteriovenous reversal, muscle flap transfer or atherectomy. These procedures eliminate the need for limb amputation. The aim of a revascularization procedure is to fix up the blood vessels that were blocked by bypassing the affected blood vessel so that blood can normally flow to your feet.

Along with revascularization, your doctor will recommend exercises like walking to increase supply of blood to the feet as well as medicines that will deal with the pain and swelling.

Diabetic foot can be a serious health threat that could lead to the limb being amputated. But with revascularization, you can get back on your feet in no time and resume your daily activities

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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