Chronic Wounds and Amputations
What may seem like a simple open sore or wound (called an ulcer) on your foot or lower leg can turn into a significant problem. The following complications from diabetes can lead to open, non-healing foot ulcers, which can lead to more serious problems such as infection and amputation:
- Neuropathy – loss of feeling in your feet
- Peripheral Artery Disease – poor circulation
- Charcot foot – a foot deformity that forms in some patients with diabetes, causing too much pressure on the middle bottom of the foot, resulting in a non-healing ulcer
- Repetitive trauma – the constant rubbing and pressure from ill-fitting shoes that cause redness, blisters and eventually sores
Ulcers develop in up to 25% of those with diabetes over their lifetime. The longer an ulcer remains open and unhealed, the more likely it is to become infected. Foot ulcers complicated by infection can often lead to an amputation. The most common causes of lower extremity amputation are chronic ulcers (wounds), infections and gangrene from poor circulation (peripheral artery disease).