Dysvascular Foot Care
Here at Alpine Foot Specialists, our goal is to prevent complications due to vascular disease of the lower extremities, known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Therefore, we advise our patients with vascular disease to make appointments for routine foot screening and care every ten weeks. During these visits we examine patients’ feet and provide palliative foot care. Routine foot care includes nail, callus, and corn trimming, as well as, ingrown toenail treatment. This helps to prevent skin breakdown and infections.
We also evaluate the feet for deformities that can lead to calluses, skin breakdown, ulcerations (wounds), infection, and amputation. These foot deformities may be treated with accommodative orthotics to pad and take pressure off of painful bony areas. Your podiatrist may also suggest surgical correction of foot deformities, such as hammer toes, if they are causing ulcers and infections. Your podiatrist may order vascular blood flow studies to evaluate the extent of your vascular disease. Depending on the results, you may be advised to consult with a vascular specialist for a revascularization procedure to increase blood flow to your feet. Without proper blood flow, healing may be delayed or even cause wounds and gangrene, a dangerous condition caused by critically insufficient blood supply to the foot.
Peripheral vascular disease is a condition in which the blood vessels in the lower extremities (feet, legs, or thighs) are narrowed, restricting blood flow. Peripheral vascular disease is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. Individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, advanced age, or those who smoke or are inactive, are at risk for developing peripheral vascular disease. Signs of vascular disease to the lower extremities include discoloration, thinning, and coolness to the skin and diminished hair and nail growth. You may also experience fatigue, aching, and cramping to your feet and legs when walking or pain to the feet when resting, particularly with the feet elevated.
If you have been diagnosed with vascular disease, we suggest that you examine your feet daily for cuts, bruises, wounds, and signs of infection. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, drainage, odor, and pain. If you experience any of these symptoms or an injury to your feet, please make an appointment right away. We will make sure you are seen by one of our physicians within 24 hours. If you are experiencing an emergency outside of normal business hours, please call the office, leave a message on the emergency voicemail, and a physician will call you right away. Our physicians are on call 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.