Is it April already? It must be, because as you’ve probably heard, this is National Foot Health Awareness Month, the month in which we become aware of our foot health. And what exactly does that mean? I’m not entirely sure. I do know, through years of treating patients in the mean streets of my NYC podiatry office, that there is much that the public needs to be made aware. Here are a few tips that I have learned, some from solid, evidence based peer reviewed studies, and some from the streets of midtown Manhattan.
- Over 70% of non-traumatic amputations worldwide are performed on diabetics, the majority of whom have developed numbness secondary to diabetic neuropathy
- A tight shoe is the most common inciting event in the formation of a diabetic foot ulcer, which can potentially lead to amputation.
- Many studies have demonstrated that amputations can be prevented through regular visits to a podiatrist during which time shoes are checked, and nails and calluses trimmed (someone’s gotta do it, and yes, it saves lives)
- There are more diabetics in India today than there are people in the US.
- Most musculoskeletal pain and injury is self-limiting and will probably heal on its own, but how does one know if a particular foot pain or injury is the kind that heals?
- Foot pain is not fun or normal, and can almost always be treated.
- Orthotics feel great and help many different types of foot pain, including feet that aren’t painful. It’s rather intuitive that a shoe feels better with a custom foot bed. And while they may be an investment and can be costly, most patients will wear out many pairs of shoes in the time it takes to wear out just the cover of a well-constructed orthotic.
- Patient satisfaction rates are very high after most types of foot surgery, including correction of bunions, hammertoes, and other common procedures.
- Nail fungus is somewhat gross, and very treatable. It’s 2013, why live with a fungal infection of the nails?
Anyway, those are just a few pearls I have gleaned over the years in my NYC podiatry office, from experience, other podiatrists, and my patients. This is a perfect time to take advantage of all the benefits National Foot Health Awareness Month has to offer.
See you in the office.
Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson