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I’ve Heard That Diabetics Shouldn’t Have Surgery On Their Feet – Is This True?

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Absolutely not! Surgical correction of foot deformities is often your best defence against ulceration, infection and (in extreme cases) amputation. A hammertoe, for example, may rub against a neighbouring toe or against the inside of the shoe, forming a corn or callus. These hard layers of skin precede most ulcers. The pressure forms an ulcer that, in turn, may become infected and require amputation. If surgery is performed before the ulcer and infection can occur – the toe, foot or leg may be saved. Any surgery entails some risk, but so does not having a deformity corrected. Non-surgical care often does not address the true problem and may only be temporary in nature.

Of course, you need good circulation to heal any surgery. Because people with diabetes often develop circulation problems sooner than the general population, your doctor may recommend that you have foot surgery sooner rather than later. Before surgery, your foot surgeon should evaluate your circulation, discuss your diabetes management with you and explain the post-operative care you will need to follow. If you have any doubts about the suggested surgery, get a second opinion from another qualified foot specialist.

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