DIABETIC FOOT

Piede diabetico

Diabetic foot is a major clinical problem experienced by many patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). DM is characterized by a decrease in the blood supply to the foot because of diseased small vessels (microangiopathy) and large vessels (macroangiopathy), and also by diseased nerves fibres (peripheral neuropathy). Vascular disease reduces the blood supply to the foot and neuropathy diminishes tissue trophism and pain sensation. The combined effect of vascular disease and neuropathy is the development of skin ulcers that heal with great difficulty. Infections of the skin and of the underlying bone (osteomyelitis) ultimately lead to progressive amputations of the toes, foot and lower extremity, first below the knee and ultimately above the knee. Careful and continuous foot care is the best approach to prevent amputations. Epidemiological studies show that periodic foot examinations reduce diabetic foot complications. Frequently the podiatrist is the first clinical specialist to recognize the presence of diabetes in a patient with a non-healing foot ulcer.

Diabetic foot is a major clinical problem experienced by many patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). DM is characterized by a decrease in the blood supply to the foot because of diseased small vessels (microangiopathy) and large vessels (macroangiopathy), and also by diseased nerves fibres (peripheral neuropathy). Vascular disease reduces the blood supply to the foot and neuropathy diminishes tissue trophism and pain sensation. The combined effect of vascular disease and neuropathy is the development of skin ulcers that heal with great difficulty. Infections of the skin and of the underlying bone (osteomyelitis) ultimately lead to progressive amputations of the toes, foot and lower extremity, first below the knee and ultimately above the knee. Careful and continuous foot care is the best approach to prevent amputations. Epidemiological studies show that periodic foot examinations reduce diabetic foot complications. Frequently the podiatrist is the first clinical specialist to recognize the presence of diabetes in a patient with a non-healing foot ulcer.