Foot Disease Case Studies

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people annually. Diabetic foot disease is a result of poor diabetic control. People with diabetes have a 12-25% risk of developing a foot ulcer throughout their life span. (Cavanagh, Lipsky, Bradbury, & Botek, 2005) and “30 to 40 times higher in a diabetic” (Brem, Sheehan, and Boulton, 2004). Foot problems can become serious in a short period of time.
Patient Education
Education must start at diagnosis. .Diabetic patients must be educated on a variety of topics, since this disease is life-changing. They must learn what to eat, how to monitor their blood glucose levels, and possible changes in their lifestyle. Education regarding foot care improves outcomes and reduces the financial burden to diabetic patients. These patients must understand the importance of controlled blood glucose levels, diet management, and proper foot care. Comparing quality of life based on individual versus group education, a study by Carlos Wong et al., found a significant improvement
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Poor circulation can develop from elevated glucose levels. A minor injury can cause a foot ulcer, if left untreated, which can result in an infection. Since there is decreased blood flow, antibiotics may not reach the infection site. Because of uncontrolled blood sugar, neuropathy can develop. With neuropathy, a patient loses sensation in their feet and legs.
Peripheral vascular disease
Diabetic patients that smoke have an increased risk of developing peripheral vascular disease. In these patients, PVD usually affects the blood vessels of the lower extremities (Cavanagh, Lipsky, Bradbury, & Botek). Diminished circulation to the legs and feet lead to slow healing. Frequent pulse checks are necessary for early detection of PVD. Some risk factors for PVD in diabetic patients include: length of diabetes diagnosis, smoker, age, inactivity, and hypertension (Edwards, 2008).

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