According to the American Diabetes Association, about 15.7 million people (5.9 percent of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands.



Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their feet or face severe consequences, including amputation.

With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that's too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal. When your wound is not healing, it's at risk for infection. As a diabetic, your infections spread quickly. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Get someone to help you, or use a mirror.

When one's feet become numb, they are at risk for becoming deformed. One way this happens is through ulcers. Open sores may become infected. Another way is the bone condition Charcot (pronounced "sharko") foot. This is one of the most serious foot problems you can face. It warps the shape of your foot when your bones fracture and disintegrate, and yet you continue to walk on it because it doesn't hurt. Diabetic foot ulcers and early phases of Charcot fractures can be treated with a total contact cast.

Dr. Barnes aims to play a critical role in the prevention of lower extremity amputations through extensive preventative care. This involves callus and nail care before an infection can result, and the fitting of custom and extra-depth diabetic footwear and inserts. The Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic is well-equipped with easily accessible Podiatry Chairs that make at-risk foot care (nail & callus care) easy for the patient.

   

Custom Foot Orthotics

Custom foot orthoses (“orthotics”) are prescription medical devices that are designed to control alignment and function of the foot in order to prevent or treat injury-causing motions such as pronation (rolling-in) and supination (rolling-out). They also can act to redistribute pressure on the bottom of the foot to relieve pain from excessive pressure or calluses. This is what makes them valuable to diabetics and crucial to good diabetic foot care.

The F-Scan Gait Analysis System & It's Role in Diabetic Foot Care

The Movement Analysis Laboratory at Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic is pleased to announce that we now offer computerized gait analysis using theF-Scan® in-shoe pressure measurement system!  This state-of-the-art system allows us to “see inside the shoe”, giving us a better understanding of how a person’s foot interacts with their footwear, and helping us provide the best, most advanced care in the area.

People with diabetes have an increased risk for developing pressure ulcers, which increase the likelihood of an eventual amputation.  Ulcers occur when sustained pressure in a specific area causes tissue to break down – they are literally wounds that develop “from the inside out”.  Offloading, or redistributing pressure from these areas is an important part of preventing and healing pressure ulcers. 

The F-Scan system helps us find and address the root cause of these problems by clearly quantifying areas of high pressure in a color-coded display.  It also provides us with timing and gait parameters we can use to develop optimal treatments for each individual.  We can easily share a patient’s test results with them, making it easier to explain diagnoses and treatments.   

 

Not only can diabetics benefit from an F-Scan exam –athletes looking to improve their performance anyone suffering from foot, knee, hip or lower back pain may also benefit.