Diabetes and its complications, including infections and vascular disease, are the most common cause of amputations in the United States. The classic signs and symptoms of an infection include a red, hot, swollen toe including a foul odor and fluid drainage from the toe. Patients experiencing these symptoms should immediately contact your Physician and/or Podiatrist. Any delay in treatment of an infection can lead to serious complications such as the infection spreading to the bone. Treatment for bone infection includes long term antibiotics and/or resection of the infected bone.
Prevention is the key for diabetic patients. Daily foot inspections, proper shoes, control of blood sugars, regular visits to your health care provider, exercise, and diet are part of the process of prevention. While inspecting the foot, look for changes in the skin of the foot including cracks, red streaks, sores, drainage, or swelling. Any changes should be checked by your Podiatrist.