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Diabetes Complications: How to Lower Your Risk for Amputation

May 16, 2024
Diabetes Complications: How to Lower Your Risk for Amputation
Incorporating advanced treatments to manage wounds can prevent severe diabetes-related complications such as amputation. This proactive approach also reduces the risk of future issues.

One of the most serious complications for patients with diabetes is the risk of amputation, primarily due to foot ulcers that can lead to severe infections. However, with proactive management and preventive care, patients can significantly reduce their risk of amputation. 

Keeping diabetes-related vascular issues such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) well-managed is a key aspect of living well with diabetes, and preventing severe complications that compromise leg and foot health.

The team at Third Coast Vascular provides exceptional vascular intervention and diabetic wound care services, which are vital for those with diabetes. Keep reading to learn what steps patients can take to minimize the risk of severe diabetes-related wound complications.

Regular monitoring and management of blood sugar

Effective blood sugar management is the cornerstone of preventing diabetes-related complications. Keeping sugar levels within a target range can help prevent nerve damage and poor blood circulation, which can lead to slow-healing leg and foot ulcers and infection. 

Regular check-ins with a primary care provider can help diabetics stay on top of blood sugar management.

Routine foot care and regular inspections

Scheduling regular visits with a podiatrist to monitor foot health is crucial for diabetics. Daily self-checks of the feet are also important to catch early signs of cuts, wounds, blisters, or infections. 

It’s essential to maintain good foot hygiene, keep nails trimmed, and ensure that shoes fit properly. Detecting problems early provides the opportunity to prevent potential issues from escalating into serious infections.

Prompt treatment for foot ulcers and infections

In case of any break in the skin or signs of infection, seek immediate medical attention. Acting quickly means receiving early intervention, and this can prevent complications, and drastically reduce the chances of needing an amputation. 

Boosting circulation

Poor circulation is a common problem in diabetes, and it significantly hampers wound healing. Improve circulation by quitting smoking, managing blood pressure, and engaging in regular physical activity such as walking or swimming. In some people, medications may be necessary to improve blood flow. 

Expert diabetic wound care

Diabetic wound care is crucial in managing diabetes, as minor wounds can lead to severe complications. Our diabetic wound care specialist Lori Brooks, MD, emphasizes the critical role of specialized care in preventing infections, hospitalizations, and the risk of amputation

Our team uses specialized wound care practices that utilize advanced treatments, such as debridement, to remove dead tissue. We also use state-of-the-art technologies like hyperbaric oxygen therapy to enhance foot ulcer healing. These treatments, combined with appropriate antibiotics and regular monitoring, can effectively manage foot ulcers and save limbs.

Living with diabetes doesn’t have to lead to severe complications such as amputation. Working with a wound care specialist can help minimize the impact of diabetes on your health. For expert diabetic wound care, contact us at Third Coast Vascular in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to request an appointment.