ABC 8 News had me on as a guest recently, to talk about what diabetics can do to lower their risk of amputation.
Foot problems are the number one complication that causes diabetics to end up in the hospital. About 30 million people in this country have diabetes, and about 90 million people are pre-diabetic. 15 percent of diabetics will get ulcers, and 15 percent of those ulcers will lead to amputations. There's a 5-year mortality rate after that amputation that's greater than the mortality rate of breast cancer and lymphoma combined. But here's the good news. By getting a comprehensive diabetic foot exam once a year — a much more in-depth exam of your feet than you'd get at your PCP — diabetics can reduce their risk by 85 percent.
In addition to getting the annual comprehensive diabetic foot exam, diabetics need to look at their feet every day. We tell patients, if you see any small red areas forming on your feet, give us a call immediately. In our clinic, we have a standing rule that if someone calls up who's diabetic and says they see even a little red area on their foot, then we'll get them in that same day, regardless of how busy we are. It's that important. We need to catch problems at the earliest stage, before it gets to the gangrene stage. That's how we can prevent the complications that lead to amputation.
We encourage anyone who has diabetes to contact us for a comprehensive diabetic foot exam and to learn about our diabetic foot care program. Now that our clinic has expanded, we have greater capacity than ever to provide comprehensive foot care to patients.
To schedule a diabetic foot exam, call 804-320-FOOT (3668) or request an appointment online.
If you know someone who is diabetic, please share this video with them, and use the links below to help us spread the word via social media. Thank you!