Bronx, NY Podiatrist
NYNJ Foot and Ankle Associates
2425 Eastchester Rd
Bronx, NY 10469

(718) 881-7990
Podiatrist in Bronx, NY Call For Pricing Options

 

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 tp prevent complications 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.

1

2

456According 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.

Here's some basic advice for taking care of your feet:

  • Always keep your feet warm.
  • Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain.
  • Don't put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
  • Don't smoke or sit cross-legged. Both decrease blood supply to your feet.
  • Don't soak your feet.
  • Don't use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
  • Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office.
  • Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don't put any lotion between your toes.
  • Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water.
  • Wear loose socks to bed.
  • Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
  • When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
  • Buy shoes that are comfortable without a "breaking in" period. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel, and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels. Try to get shoes made with leather upper material and deep toe boxes. Wear new shoes for only two hours or less at a time. Don't wear the same pair everyday. Inspect the inside of each shoe before putting it on. Don't lace your shoes too tightly or loosely.
  • Choose socks and stockings carefully. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Avoid socks with holes or wrinkles. Thin cotton socks are more absorbent for summer wear. Square-toes socks will not squeeze your toes. Avoid stockings with elastic tops.

When your 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.

The shape of your foot molds the cast. It lets your ulcer heal by distributing weight and relieving pressure. If you have Charcot foot, the cast controls your foot's movement and supports its contours if you don't put any weight on it. To use a total contact cast, you need good blood flow in your foot. The cast is changed every week or two until your foot heals. A custom-walking boot is another way to treat your Charcot foot. It supports the foot until all the swelling goes down, which can take as long as a year. You should keep from putting your weight on the Charcot foot. Surgery is considered if your deformity is too severe for a brace or shoe.
3Here's some basic advice for taking care of your feet and preventing wounds and infections:

  • Always keep your feet warm.
  • Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain.
  • Don't put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
  • Don't smoke or sit cross-legged. Both decrease blood supply to your feet.
  • Don't soak your feet.
  • Don't use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
  • Do not use sharp instruments (such as nail clippers) to cut your toenails. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office.
  • Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don't put any lotion between your toes.
  • Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water.
  • Wear loose socks to bed.
  • Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
  • When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
  • Buy shoes that are comfortable without a "breaking in" period. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel, and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels. Try to get shoes made with leather upper material and deep toe boxes. Wear new shoes for only two hours or less at a time. Don't wear the same pair everyday. Inspect the inside of each shoe before putting it on. Don't lace your shoes too tightly or loosely.
  • Choose socks and stockings carefully. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Avoid socks with holes or wrinkles. Thin cotton socks are more absorbent for summer wear. Square-toes socks will not squeeze your toes. Avoid stockings with elastic tops.

When your 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.

The shape of your foot molds the cast. It lets your ulcer heal by distributing weight and relieving pressure. If you have Charcot foot, the cast controls your foot's movement and supports its contours if you don't put any weight on it. To use a total contact cast, you need good blood flow in your foot. The cast is changed every week or two until your foot heals. A custom-walking boot is another way to treat your Charcot foot. It supports the foot until all the swelling goes down, which can take as long as a year. You should keep from putting your weight on the Charcot foot. Surgery is considered if your deformity is too severe for a brace or shoe.

Diabetes and Your Feet |

Diabetic Foot Care

The Foot Health Foundation of America offers this simple quiz to pinpoint any warning signs of foot and ankle problems: (See bottom for scoring.)

1.
 
How much time do you spend on your feet each day?
 
  a. less than 2 hours 0
  b. 2 - 4 hours 1
  c. 5 - 7 hours 2
  d. 8 hours or more 3
 
 
2.
 
How old are you?
 
  a. under 40 0
  b. between 40 and 59 1
  c. 60 and over 2
 
 
3. How would you describe your weight?  
  a. less than 20 pounds overweight or at ideal weight 0
  b. 20 - 39 pounds overweight 2
  c. 40 or more pounds overweights 3
 
 
4. Have problems with your feet or ankles ever prevented you from participating in:  
  - leisure/sports activities  
  a. yes 2
  b. no 0
  - work activities?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0
 
 
5. Have you ever received medical treatment for problems with your feet and/or ankles?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0
 
 
6. Do you regularly wear heels two inches or higher?  
  a. yes 2
  b. no 0
 
 
7. What types of exercise do you engage in or plan to engage in? (check all that apply)  
  a. walking 1
  b. field sports (e.g., softball, golf) 2
  c. winter sports (e.g., skiing, ice skating) 2
  d. court sports (e.g., tennis, basketball) 3
  e. aerobics 3
  f. running 3
  g. none (if you shose answer g, skip to question 11) 0
 
 
8. Do you have the appropriate shoes for your sport or sports?  
  a. yes 0
  b. no 3
 
 
9. Do you experience foot or ankle pain when walking or exercising?  
  a. rarely 1
  b. sometimes 2
  c. often 3
  d. never 0
 
 
10. Do you:  
  - exercise in footwear that is more than one year old or in hand-me-down footwear?  
  a. yes 3
  - stretch properly before and after exercising?  
  a. yes 0
  b. no 3
 
 
11. Do you:  
  - have diabetes?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0
  - experience numbness and/or burning in your feet?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0
  - have a family history of diabetes?  
  a. yes 2
  b. no 0
 
 
12. Do You: (Mark all that apply)  
  - sprain your ankles frequently (once a year or more) or are your ankles weak?  
  a. yes 2
  b. no 0
  - have flat feet or excessively high arches?  
  a. yes 2
  b. no 0
  - experience pain in the achilles tendon or heel or have shin splints
(pain in the front lower leg)?
 
  a. yes 2
  b. no 0
  - have corns, calluses, bunions or hammertoes?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0
  - have arthritis or joint pain in your feet?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0
  - have poor circulation or cramping in your legs?  
  a. yes 3
  b. no 0

 

Scoring

0-20 Points: Congratulations! Your feet and ankles are very healthy and you can maintain your active lifestyle and/or exercise regimen. With proper attention and care your feet and ankles should remain healthy; however, you may want to schedule an annual exam with a podiatric physician to ensure their long-term health. Furthermore, if you scored points for questions 4, 5, 9, 11 or 12 you should consider visiting a podiatric physician in the near future for a check-up.

21 - 40 Points: Pay Attention. Your feet and ankles are showing signs of wear, placing you in the moderate risk category. Although you can continue your normal activities, you should strongly consider visiting a podiatric physician for a check-up. If you participate in a rigorous exercise regimen on a regular basis or plan to - or if you scored points for questions 4, 5, 9, 11 or 12 - you should visit a podiatric physician soon to safeguard your foot and ankle health.

41 Points or Higher: Caution. Your feet and ankles are at high risk for long-term medical problems and you should contact our office as soon as possible. If you exercise, you should pay particular attention to your feet and ankles until you are seen by our practice. If you have not begun exercising, it is advisable to contact our office before undertaking any type of exercise.

Now that you've assessed the health of your feet and ankles, you are armed with knowledge that will enable you to maintain their health over a lifetime.

Please note: Even if you scored well, this self assessment is not a substitute for a physical exam.