According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, the average person takes 10,000 steps each day, which adds up to more than 3 million steps per year. April serves as Foot Health Awareness Month, and since we’re only a few days shy of April, now is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of foot health.
People with diabetes should be especially concerned with the health of their feet. An estimated 29.1 million people (9.3 percent of the population) have diabetes, and nearly 28 percent are undiagnosed. Diabetes can affect the nerves which can cause nerve damage for some people. When this happens, the nerves no longer perceive pain due to numbness and therefore do not alert a person to potential injury.
For people living with diabetes, a poor defense against infection and damage to blood circulation can complicate problems with the feet, causing them to become more vulnerable to injury. In 2010, about 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed on adults 20 or older with diagnosed diabetes. This accounts for 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations. People with an amputation have a 50 percent mortality rate within five years. Diabetes-related amputations may result from chronic wounds caused by diabetes, especially diabetic foot ulcers. It is estimated that 25 percent of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer.
The Wilson Wound Healing Center recommends the following for proper foot care if you’re living with diabetes:
• Check your feet for sores or other injuries every day. You may have an injury but cannot feel the pain.
• Wash your feet every day and dry them with care, especially between the toes.
• Trim your toenails as needed after you’ve washed and dried your feet.
• Wear properly fitting shoes that do not rub or pinch your feet.
• Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes, and never walk barefoot or while wearing just socks.
• Physical activity can help increase circulation in your feet. Consult your health care team to see which physical activity is right for you.
This month, Wilson Wound Healing Center received the Center of Distinction award by Healogics, Inc., the nation’s leading and largest wound care management company. The Center of Distinction award means that we achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for 12 consecutive months, including patient satisfaction higher than 92 percent, and a wound healing rate of at least 91 percent in less than 31 median days. Out of 630 centers eligible for the Center of Distinction award, 334 achieved this honor in 2017.
We’re proud of this honor and the specialized treatments and compassionate care that we provide our patients.
For more information about proper foot care, diabetic foot ulcers or how we may be able to help avoid amputation, contact the Wilson Wound Healing Center at 1701 Medical Park Drive or 252-399-5302.
Brandi Ross is the program director at Wilson Wound Healing Center.