It is said that prevention is always better than cure because treatment is costly and many times ineffective.
Diabetic foot problems are caused due to neuropathy (nerve damage), biomechanical abnormalities (frequently a consequence of neuropathy, leading to abnormal plantar foot pressure), reduced blood circulation to the lower limb and super-added infection. Barefoot walking, inappropriate footwear-Hawaii slippers, lack of awareness in patients, home surgery etc can cause or worsen diabetic foot problems.
As we all know, India has nearly 30 million diabetic patients and thus 60million feet are at potential risk. 25% diabetics develop foot ulcers in their lifetime. Diabetic foot is the commonest indication for hospitalisation & requires longest hospital stay. Risk of gangrene is 20 times higher as compared to non-diabetics. It is responsible for more than half of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. 40,000 lower limb amputations are known to occur in India every year. 85% of the lower extremity amputations are preceded by trivial foot ulcer. Amputating limb is not the end of the story. After amputation, within 3 years, 50% of amputees either die or loose another leg. Not only that, treatment of diabetic foot lesions is costly… & majority of Indians are not medically insured.
With better understanding of the disease & advances in the technology, diabetic foot problems can be detected at an early stage. Diabetic having foot problems, if they take good care of their feet, nearly 80% of foot ulcers & 90% of lower limb amputations can be prevented.