Monday, November 25, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month

Why are diabetic patients at higher risk for losing parts of their feet and legs to amputation? Diabetes can damage our nerves and blood vessels. This creates a very complicated situation, as some diabetics cannot feel all or portions of their feet. In other words, they do not have protective sensation, or the ability to feel things like blisters, cuts, pebbles, splinters, rough edges on shoes, and other things. Damage to blood vessels causes diminished blood flow to the feet, making walking difficult. Further, healing of wounds, even small cuts, is delayed if there is not enough blood flow. Blood brings certain cells to the area of an injury that allow it to properly heal. If that is not complicated enough, the immune systems of diabetics are not as strong as those in other people. This means that diabetics cannot fight off infections as well as non-diabetics. Again, a simple cut can quickly get out of control on the foot of a diabetic patient, as the immune system is not as powerful as in other people without diabetes or chronic conditions. Prevention and education are the keys for diabetic foot conditions. 1. If you or a family member have diabetes, it is essential that the feet get checked daily. This includes the tops, bottoms, and between the toes. If you notice a cut, sore, opening, drainage, or discoloration, call you podiatrist immediately. If the area is red, hot, swollen, has an odor, smells, or is green, yellow, black, or some other strange color, you may need to go to the emergency room to have the area assessed if your doctor is not available. 2. Control your blood sugar! Keeping your blood sugar within the normal range, typically 80-120 mg/dL, is essential, as this is healthy for the nerves, blood vessels, and other body structures. Prolonged periods with high blood sugars are very damaging to the feet. 3. Avoid smoking! It decreases blood flow. 4. Avoid alcohol abuse. It damages the nerves and is unhealthy. 5. Exercise! It is good for your body and helps the circulation. Ask your doctor what form of exercise is best for you! 6. Wear supportive shoes that do not have seams or other areas that rub on your skin. 7. Keep the feet hydrated but no cream, lotion, or vasoline between the toes! If the areas between the toes are too moist, sores can develop. Questions? Need an appointment for a diabetic foot check? Call Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jay Cutler and High Ankle Sprains

After returning to play after a groin injury, Bear's quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday. High ankle sprains involve an injury above the ankle to the soft tissues or syndesmosis between the tibia and fibula. Typically, these injuries are rotational, so this is an obvious potential problem with NFL players This injury can be hard to diagnose in some cases because it may not include a lot of swelling. Traditional ankle sprains typically involve an injury to a ligament on the side of the ankle, and there is pain and swelling in the area. The high ankle sprain is further up on the leg, rather on the side and may not be as swollen. Initial treatments of high ankle sprains include medication to reduce inflammation, rest, ice, compression or immobilization, elevation, and physical therapy. Severe injuries can require surgery.