Neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, occurs when the blood sugar levels are too high, damaging the nerve cells. Often occurring in the feet, neuropathy causes loss of feeling as well as pain and numbness.
When a patient with neuropathy loses sensation in the toes, a minor scrape, cut or puncture can quickly develop into an ulcer. If this condition worsens, the toe must often be amputated.
Diabetic neuropathy is not the only cause of toe ulcers. This type of wound may also develop from cellulitis, a common bacterial infection.
Tenotomy: A Solution for Toe Ulcers
Toe ulcers usually appear in conjunction with toe deformities such as hammertoe, mallet toe and claw toe. These deformities cause calluses and other skin injuries which, in those who have neuropathy, may escalate to a serious ulcer. One key to healing these ulcers is to reduce the amount of deformity.
We often use a flexor tenotomy procedure to lessen the deformity and heal the toe ulcer. This simple outpatient procedure is performed with local anesthetic right here in our office.
A tenotomy is a minimally-invasive procedure that releases the tendon to allow the toe to resume its normal position. After the surgery, you will wear a special shoe to both protect your toe and keep it in the proper position. Full recovery usually takes place in about 4-6 weeks.
If you suffer from sores on your toes, please come visit us so we can assess the extent of skin damage. Based on our diagnosis, we may recommend a tenotomy to relieve the toe deformity and heal the wound.
We Can Help If You Have Foot Complications from Diabetes
Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have any discomfort from an injury or just from overuse, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.