Top 5 Foot Complications of Diabetes

Foot ulcers, infections are leading problems for diabetics

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Nov. 24, 2014)If a doctor has ever said you had an elevated blood sugar level—even just once when you were pregnant—you are at risk for developing diabetes. About 29 million Americans have the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Diabetes is a complicated disease that can cause neuropathy (loss of normal nerve function) and peripheral vascular disease (loss of normal circulation). Having either of these conditions can lead to:
  • Diabetic foot ulcers: wounds that do not heal or become infected
  • Foot infections: both skin and bones can be affected
  • Gangrene: dead tissue resulting from complete loss of circulation
  • Charcot arthropathy: foot fractures and dislocations that can lead to severe deformities
  • Amputation: partial foot, whole foot or below-knee amputation
The good news is that diabetics can prevent many major foot complications by inspecting their feet daily and seeing a medical doctor one or more times a year for a foot inspection. In addition, diabetics should immediately see a medical doctor if they discover an infection or notice a change in foot appearance.
Visit the Diabetic Foot Problems page at to learn how these problems are diagnosed and treated. As the leaders in lower extremity medicine, orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists treat the wide variety of foot problems that can develop with diabetes.
About the AOFAS
The AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through the education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. The Society creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international health care communities.​

About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. Relying on four years of medical school training, five years of post-graduate training and often a fellowship in orthopaedic foot and ankle care, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage and treat trauma of the foot and ankle.
Jennifer Hicks
Director of Public Education
Office: 847-698-4654