Complications > Foot


Diabetic Foot Disease: When the alarm to action is missing

Did you know that every 20 seconds an amputation caused by diabetes occurs somewhere in the world? Paradoxically 85 percent of all amputations caused by diabetes are preventable. If amputation is almost always preventable then this is good news for people at greatest risk for diabetic foot disease. Sadly, amputations are still occurring at too great a rate in high, low- and middle-income countries.

For Jeffrey, diabetes education has made all the difference

It was 32ºC in the Capital city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic on the day I met Jeffrey, who at 28 had lived with diabetes for 14 years. It was so hot at the Plaza de la Salud General Hospital that volunteers were giving bottles of water to visitors at the front entrance. Jeffrey and I had never met when he appeared in my office and I did not know why he had come for a consultation. He was wet with sweat from the heat outside and I noticed he was not wearing shoes.

Appraising the Multi-SAFE approach to low vision and diabetes: a simple technique for saving feet

The human and economic consequences of diabetes-related foot problems can be harrowing. A person’s foot can become vulnerable due to various complications of diabetes. Nerve damage, vascular problems and delayed wound healing can lead to chronic ulceration. Ensuing infection or the non-healing of an ulcer can result in amputation – one of the most feared and most costly outcomes of diabetes. People with diabetes who also have a visual impairment are at even greater increased risk for serious foot problems and amputation.

Against the worldwide epidemic

Editor-in-chief's editorial

Promoting foot care education in developing countries: the Caribbean Diabetic Foot Care Programme

There are 285 million people living with diabetes worldwide, the number of affected people is predicted to reach 438 million by 2030. Because of the rapid increase in diabetes prevalence, the number of diabetes complications is rising equally quickly. Amputation is one of the most feared of these complications. People with diabetes are at risk for nerve damage and problems with the supply of blood to their feet. Nerve damage results in a reduced ability to feel pain and, as a consequence, injuries often go unnoticed. Moreover, poor blood supply can slow down the process of wound healing.

Offloading the diabetic foot in the developing world

Diabetic foot complications are the most common cause of hospital admissions among people with diabetes. Worldwide, more than 1 million amputations are performed each year as a consequence of diabetes, which means that a lower limb is lost to diabetes somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. If a person with diabetes has a lesion on the sole of a foot, offloading bodyweight is of vital importance; all therapeutic efforts are bound to fail if he or she continues to walk on an ulcer.

IDF and Rotary - reaching out to fight diabetes from the grassroots

IDF is an organization of associations in over 160 countries around the world. As such, it is organized from the ground up. Local associations deliver the programmes of the Federation. While offering counsel and advice as well as access to best practices, IDF seeks to empower the local association. Rotary International is a similar organization. The world’s largest and oldest service club, it has over 1.2 million members in more than 33,000 clubs in 160 countries.

Abject poverty, major difficulties and tragic outcomes in Cambodia

When her doctor diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes in 1997, it was shocking news to Sokhann. For more than a decade, she lived with her condition without any treatment, education or follow-up.

The need for tact, openness and honesty when talking about complications

Discussing the sensitive issue of long-term complications is difficult for people with diabetes and the healthcare providers who work with them. Consequently, this area of diabetes management is often not handled well. In some situations, healthcare providers are reluctant to impose 'unpleasant' information on people who might be struggling to cope with diabetes; in others, the potential risk of developing complications might be used as a threat in an attempt to scare people into following medical advice.

The Jaipur Foot: an effective low-cost prosthesis for people with diabetes

In people with diabetes, optimal management of their condition, regular examinations, the use of adequate footwear, and education are the best strategies to prevent diabetes-related foot problems, such as ulceration. If foot problems cannot be prevented, these should be treated as early as possible. However, in many cases, some degree of amputation of lower limbs cannot be avoided. In people who undergo a major amputation, artificial limbs are required to enable them to continue normal daily life.