Diabetes is a deadly disease that is triggered when the body cannot produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to insulin. Diabetes makes an individual prone to a host of ailments, one of which is a diabetic foot.
What is diabetic foot?
When blood sugar remains high for protracted periods, it affects the feet in a number of ways and leads to a condition called a diabetic foot. There are two types of diabetic foot-
• Diabetic neuropathy: Diabetes dulls or even damages the nerves leading to your feet. As a result, a diabetic often can’t register any sensation in the feet. The area and the extent of nerve damage changes from one person to another. Since there is a loss of feeling, the person will not be able to tell if a blister, sore or ulcer develops on the feet. This can lead to infections.
• Peripheral vascular disease: Diabetes can disrupt the circulation of blood by depositing fat in the arteries of the heart. This narrows them and does not allow a sufficient amount of blood to reach the feet. The result is pain and swelling of the feet, and when wounds develop, they don’t heal quickly. So, there are strong chances of infection setting in.
Unless the person with diabetic neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease seeks treatment immediately, these two ailments have the potential of turning lethal because they can lead to gangrene.
Preventive surgery for diabetic foot:
Preventive surgery serves many purposes. Why a patient has to undergo this surgery and which type of surgery would be ideal depends on the condition of the diabetic foot. The following are some prevalent surgery modes-
• Podiatric and vascular surgery: Tis surgery is all about management of wounds. Podiatrists and vascular specialists collaborate to undo diabetic foot deformities and reduce infection risks. Special attention is paid to arterial problems, skin conditions, and neurological issues. The procedures carried out include debridement, tenotomy, and exostectomy.
• Achilles tendon tenotomy: This surgery corrects the problem-causing Achilles tendon that has lead to the foot deformity.
• Exostectomy: This surgery is resorted to only in cases when diabetes causes extreme deformation. Diabetes can cause dislocation of the bones and ulceration. This surgery stabilises and fuses the joints to bring back mobility to the feet.
• Endovascular surgery: This surgery is effective when the diabetic foot is a result of insufficient blood supply. During this surgery, the surgeon guides inflated balloons through blood vessels to unclog the obstructions, which allows blood to flow freely again through the vessels and reach the feet.
Preventive surgery, if done at the right time, eliminates the need to amputate the entire foot.