In the summer, your feet areexposed to the elements more often which is especially concerning for those with diabetes, neuropathy, and Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.), which is poor circulation due to plaque build-up in the arteries. Podiatrist Dr. David Alper
joins hosts Kym McNicholas and Dr. John Phillips to talk about how to prevent
common foot problems and complications.
An important part of today’sdiscussion was about how lack of circulation can put patients at-risk of more severe complications during the summer especially. Wounds don’t heal as quickly
and easily without proper blood flow. So, if you have diabetes or P.A.D., it’s important to have a vascular specialist and podiatrist team up to help both on the inside of your arteries and outside of your foot. Dr. Anthony Pozun, an Interventional Cardiologist with Modern Vascular in the Phoenix area of Arizona, was listening to the show and called in to drive home that point. He added that tools and techniques for restoring blood flow have advanced to the point where some physicians know how to carefully navigate clear into the small vessels in the
foot to help clear a path if necessary for even more flow to heal wounds faster,
especially in diabetics who tend to have more vascular issues in their lower extremities.
Patients wrote in manyquestions during today’s broadcast as well about choosing appropriate shoes and proper toe nail care. Dr. Alper emphasized that flip flops are not the most
supportive choice for the feet especially because they force you to grip the shoe with your big toe and second toe, which can lead to bunions and hammer toe problems. That can also pose a problem for those with neuropathy who might not feel a friction wound brewing between the two toes. Dr. Alper suggested that summer footwear should have at least a band around the heel so the foot remains secure and supported without effort. And if you do a lot of walking or running, that sneakers should be replaced every six months to ensure the best support for exercise programs. As for toe nail care, he discussed the importance of learning from a
podiatrist how to cut your toe nails properly and to shy away from nail salons if you have diabetes, neuropathy, and/or P.A.D. One of the most important points Dr. Alperraises about avoiding summer foot problems is the use of sunscreen. He said that some of the most frequent visits to his clinic during the summer were by those with second degree burns or worse, not just on the top of their feet, but also the bottom. The latter of course isdue to forgoing shoes on hot pavement.
Also in this episode, youdon't want to miss our Save My Piggies segment where a patient, Sheryl and her Vascular Surgeon in Oklahoma City, Dr. Bernardino Rocha, share an inspiring story of how a second opinion made the difference between life and limb. She found Dr. Rocha
through nonprofit advocacy organization The Way To My Heart after she spent months in a wheelchair with no hope of ever walking again. Her primary care physician had misdiagnosed her symptoms of leg pain and cramps as gout and when medicine didn’t help it, he offered her muscle relaxers and told her to drink plenty of fluid to relieve the cramps in her foot and calf. It wasn’t until she went to a podiatrist for an unrelated issue that he discovered signs of a circulatory problem. Further testing uncovered she had Peripheral Artery Disease, restricted blood flow in the leg arteries due to plaque build-up. That is what was causing all the leg cramps. She thought the proper diagnosis would lead her to an easy solution, but her vascular surgeon told her that the only thing he could do was an extensive bypass that he didn’t think would last very long and amputation was in her future. The Way To My Heart sent her to Dr. Rocha for a second opinion and he was able to easily clear the artery blockages using minimally invasive tools and techniques. After the angiogram procedure she felt immediate
pain relief and was able to get out of the wheelchair, with a regular walking regimen each day whether on pavement or in the pool.
Make sure to listen to today’s broadcast!
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#KymMcNicholas, #DrJohnPhillips, #DrDavidAlper #PADawareness #vasculardisease