Treating Diabetic Foot Problems

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Foot problems from diabetes are treated by keeping blood sugar levels in your target range. Other types of treatment include medicine, special shoes, and surgery.

Treatment for foot ulcers includes keeping weight off your injured foot. A cast or special boot, shoe inserts, crutches, a wheelchair, or bed rest may be used. Foot infections are treated with antibiotics.

Sometimes an ulcer or infection becomes severe and the tissue in the foot dies (gangrene). If this happens, toes, part or all of the foot, and sometimes part of the leg may be removed (amputated).

Bone and joint deformities can develop on the feet, such as hammer, claw, and mallet toes or Charcot foot. Surgery may be needed to remove bone that is causing these problems.

Check your feet regularly for small injuries. Tell your doctor right away about calluses, blisters, cracked or peeling skin, and athlete's foot. And get regular foot exams.


Current as of: October 2, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.