Clinton, NC, April 10, 2017- According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, the average person takes 10,000 steps each day, adding up to more than three million steps per year. Foot health is essential to our mobility but is rarely considered as people evaluate their physical health. Observed each year in April, National Foot Health Awareness month calls attention to the importance of foot health.
People with diabetes should pay special attention to foot health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 29.1 million people, or 9.3 percent of the population, have diabetes. Of that 29.1 million, nearly 28 percent are undiagnosed. Individuals with diabetes are susceptible to nerve damage and sensory loss, particularly in their extremities. “When you experience nerve damage and sensory loss, you may not realize you have a potential injury, which can be dangerous,” stated Susan McUmber, Program Director of Sampson Regional Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center. A wound on the foot, for example, left untreated could cause infection that can spread throughout the body. Some wound infections may even progress to the point that an individual requires amputations of a limb.
SampsonRMC’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center recommends that people with diabetes follow these steps for proper foot care:
“When followed, these precautions can help prevent diabetes-related amputations,” added McUmber. Most recent reports from the American Diabetes Association indicate that on average about 73,000 non-traumatic lower limb amputations are performed in adults ages 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes. This accounts for 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. These amputations often result from chronic wounds caused by diabetes, especially diabetic foot ulcers. Education about proper foot health is one way to reduce avoidable incidents of lower limb amputation. “It is important to take good care of your feet so that we can keep these statistics down,” added McUmber.
If you have a wound or ulcer that is not healing, or for more information about proper foot care, please contact Sampson Regional Medical Center’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at 910-590-8710 or visit www.SampsonRMC.org/woundcare.