Diabetic Foot Pain
If you have diabetes, you are more prone to diabetic foot pain and infection because diabetes suppresses the immune system. When you have an open ulcer, the bacteria – some of which normally live on the skin – can get into the underlying tissue. This causes the infection to spread rapidly, tracking along a tendon to enter the foot or leg. You may experience a reddened, hot area on the foot; or an open sore may drain pus. If you still have feeling in your foot and don’t have neuropathy, you may feel pain and have a fever. If you experience any signs and symptoms of an infection, you should seek treatment IMMEDIATELY as this can become a limb- or life-threatening problem.
Diabetic foot pain and infections are classified as either limb threatening or non-limb-threatening. Limb threatening infections can require hospitalization, IV antibiotics and in many cases, surgery. Non-limb-threatening infections can usually be treated with oral antibiotics as an outpatient with careful follow-up. Consult with your doctor about the best treatment for your diabetic foot pain and infection.
Many times, your diabetic foot pain and infections can extend to the bone. If the bone becomes infected, it is called osteomyelitis. The diagnosis of osteomyelitis may require a bone culture, or your doctor may order an MRI or bone scan. Treatment may be antibiotics, surgery or both.
Please contact the Amputation Prevention Centers of America if you experience any symptoms of diabetic foot pain and infection, or want to learn more.