4 ways to control diabetic foot deformities

Controlling blood sugar, measuring foot pressure, and treating ingrown toenails help treat foot deformities common in people with diabetes.

The foot is a complex structure of the lower limb, including many bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, vascular structures, and nerves. The feet provide support for standing and moving, and allow for adjustments in balance on the ground. Gait quality is closely related to overall health status.

Dr. Lam Van Hoang, Head of the Department of Endocrinology – Diabetes, Tam Anh General Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, said diabetic foot complications can change the structure of the foot. The disease is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, causing a number of complications of small and large blood vessels, nerve damage to the muscles inside the foot leading to imbalance in flexion and extension.

Diabetic feet undergo structural changes in the ligaments, capsules and tendons leading to deformity. Changes in foot shape and structure due to diabetes affect normal walking and the foot’s ability to bear weight, increasing the risk of ulcers and foot infections leading to amputation if not treated promptly. time.

Some common foot deformities in people with diabetes include hammertoes, calluses, big toes, pes cavus, deformed claws, and prominent metatarsal heads. , charcot feet, flat feet (pes planus)…

Dr. Hoang said that treatment of diabetic foot deformities needs to depend on each patient’s condition, including reducing foot pressure, adjusting deformity changes such as fascia contractures, nail deformities, and other deformities. foot calluses… in addition to controlling systemic medical conditions. Here are some ways.

Measure foot pressure Helps control risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers by identifying increased pressure points in the feet.

There are two methods of measuring foot pressure, such as using the Harris mat. This is an ink-soaked rubber mat attached to a paper template to print on the bottom, helping to preliminary assess increased foot pressure. A more modern method is to use a pressure sensor to determine the pressure point of the foot, the size of the foot, and then design appropriate shoe soles to reduce foot pressure.

Control blood sugar Can reduce damage to blood vessels and nerves, limit further deformation, and reduce the risk of infection and necrosis.

Adjust foot flexion using a number of intervention techniques such as cutting small tendons to reduce the degree of curling of the toes, and using devices to correct foot deformities.

Treatment of ingrown toenail deformityfoot calluses such as cutting and caring for toenails, grinding nails, treating the corners of the feet, ingrown toenails, and calluses to prevent opportunistic infections due to nail deformities and calluses.

Doctors from the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes treat ingrown nails for patients. Illustration: Tam Anh General Hospital

To prevent ulcers due to foot deformities, people with diabetes should choose shoes and sandals that match the foot structure. The inside length of the shoe must be 1-2 cm longer than the foot, not too tight or too loose. The inside width should be equal to the width of the foot, with enough height for all toes.

Check your feet daily on the entire surface of your feet, the area between your toes, and the soles of your feet. People with signs of swelling, heat or blisters, cuts, scratches… should see a doctor. Do not use chemicals or putty to remove calluses; Use an emollient to lubricate dry areas, but not between your fingers; Cut toenails straight and horizontal.

Doctor Hoang said foot deformities increase pressure, leading to the appearance of foot calluses. Prolonged conditions cause inflammation, chronic tissue injury, forming small cracks on the base of the callus, creating favorable conditions for pus-forming infection (abscess) and rough calluses that can easily cause ulcers.

Reduced pain sensation due to damage to sensory nerves makes the patient unaware or less concerned about the wound, causing the ulcer to progress more seriously. Diabetic foot ulcers are accompanied by many factors that damage blood vessels and nerves, increasing the risk of amputation.

People with diabetes should have their feet examined regularly to have the doctor check for abnormalities and evaluate the nerves and blood vessels of the feet. From there, doctors have appropriate treatment methods to avoid complications of foot deformity.

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