Diabetic foot ulcers left untreated can lead to amputation

Posted at 11:28 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2018-12-28 10:19:51-05

It’s not the most glamorous topic to talk about, but for people living with diabetes, it’s a real concern.

Foot ulcers can have major complication and can even lead to amputation.

It was a scary thought for Richard Raine, losing his big toe.

Richard says, “My first question was would I be able to walk, because you always heard the rumor that if you lost your big toe you couldn't walk."

But Richard cleared up that rumor and has a good attitude about it all.

“Well, that’s a myth. In fact, I probably walk better without it now,” Richard says laughing.

Richard’s amputation stemmed from a foot ulcer. A problem for many people with diabetes.

Dr. Brian Belgin says, “One to two percent of diabetics generally will have an ulceration. In some studies they say between 20 and 40 percent of diabetics at some point in time will have an ulcer.”

A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore, usually located on the bottom of the foot.

Dr. Brian Belgin, a Podiatrist with the GBMC Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center says foot ulcers often occur in diabetics because of the loss of sensation in their feet.

“They don't feel anything so again they can pick skin off their feet, they can step on something, they can have something in their shoe and they don't know it and it rubs the skin off their foot and it develops an ulceration,” says Dr. Belgin.

Be aware of redness or swelling and pain in the area among other symptoms.

“Fever, chills, shortness of breath, spike in the blood sugar. Sometimes they just don’t feel well,” says Dr. Belgin.