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// Diabetic foot syndrome: symptoms and preventive treatment - Podikon

Diabetic foot syndrome: symptoms and preventive treatment

Diabetic foot plant with toe amputation

More than 25% of people with type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus develop foot problems during their lifetime. The pathology also affects the peripheral nervous system damaging the nerves and compromising the correct working operation of the lower limbs.

Careful and continuous checking of the feet in patients with dysmetabolic pathologies can reduce the most frequent consequences of diabetic illness such as ulcers, infection and amputation.  

Symptoms of diabetic foot

The initial symptoms of diabetic foot are mainly:

  • loss of the hairs;
  • nails start to grow irregularly (onychodystrophy);
  • feelings of cold at the extremities (especially in the lower limbs);
  • loss of sensitivity that cause the patient not to notice accidental cuts, burns or the onset of ulcers which can therefore become worse, infected and if left untreated lead to gradual gangrene of the tissues.

Biomechanical factors concerning foot deformity, such as prominent metatarsal heads or toe deformities, create a plantar imbalance in particular while walking. This pressure causes stress and damage to the tissue and can give rise to a pre-ulceration condition.

Diabetic foot: preventive/conservative treatment

The treatment for diabetic foot is, at least initially, conservative and consists of using orthoses and protective/corrective plantar orthoses that act to relieve pressure in the areas affected by ulcerative lesions.

Plantar and digital orthoses in diabetic patients play a very important role and are used both for the prevention (primary and secondary) and for treatment of ulcerative lesions.

Digital orthoses play a fundamental role in relieving, compensating, counterbalancing and even correcting structural alterations to the toes. Diabetic patients with axial deviations need a protective /corrective orthosis designed to prevent the formation of skin lesions and to protect lesions in progress against traumatic agents.

Silicones for orthoplastics, especially for these patients, considered fragile, must be totally biocompatible and non-toxic.

When conservative treatment is unable to prevent the reoccurrence of ulcerative lesions, the possibility of a surgical operation is considered.