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Put Your Best Foot Forward

Matthew McCabe, DPM, MS, DABPM, FACFAS | Water Oak Foot and Ankle
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Q&A

I Have Burning And Tingling In My Feet. What Does This Mean?

This can be a complicated topic. Most of the time it’s related to diabetes and is called “diabetic neuropathy”. Fortunately, if it’s related to diabetes there are multiple conservative options as well as surgical options. The most common treatment is oral medications but there are other treatments that can be done in the office that are FDA approved for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. If you don’t have diabetes there are topical options and injections. Some people can get neuropathy after ankle surgery, such as an ankle fracture repair or an Achilles repair. There are very effective treatment options for post-trauma neuropathy as well.

Why Are Diabetic Foot Ulcerations Problematic?

What most people don’t realize is, if you have a diabetic foot ulceration, you’re considered a limb-salvage patient. What this means is that the diabetic foot ulceration could become severe enough to require amputation of the foot—or even the leg. Diabetic foot wound care should not only be focused on healing the ulceration but also in preventing hospitalization, infection, and reoccurrence of the wound. This is where fellowship training can separate wound healing from limb salvage and prevention. The ability to prevent problems before they occur is what fellowship training has helped me learn. Often, simple conservative measures are enough to heal the wound. However, in some cases, a simple surgical procedure such as tendon lengthening can prevent future infection, hospitalization, and amputation, not to mention the patient’s time and money.

When Should I See A Podiatrist?

Any ankle or foot issue can be seen by a podiatrist. Many injuries will get better with rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and activity modification. However, if you’re still experiencing pain or limitations, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Podiatrists specialize in foot and ankle problems and are experienced in problems and pathologies of the ankle as well as the foot including diabetic foot exams, fractures, heel pain, foot pain, ankle sprains, and everything in between.

What’s The Most Common Problem You See In Your Clinic?

Heel pain is more common than most people realize. It could be caused by several factors. Most often, it’s plantar fasciitis, but it could also be a stress fracture or tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS). Basically, TTS is like carpal tunnel syndrome but in your ankle. All of these scenarios are easily treatable in-clinic. Other problems include bunions, hammer toes, and Achilles pain.

I Notice You Are Fellowship-Trained. What Does That Mean?

Fellowship training is specialized, focused training after residency. My residency years were focused on trauma, such as ankle fractures and foot fractures, and sports medicine and surgery. My fellowship training was focused on limb salvage, including wound care and office procedures to prevent wounds and problems related to diabetes. It also included complicated reconstructive surgery such as Charcot foot and traumatic deformities. Fellowship training has allowed me to offer my patients a wider range of podiatric treatment and has broadened my diagnostic abilities.

About The Expert

McCabeFamily
Matthew McCabe, DPM, MS, DABPM, FACFAS
Water Oak Foot and Ankle

Matthew McCabe completed his medical training and master’s in healthcare administration at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago. He completed his foot and ankle surgical residency at Christus Saint Patrick Hospital and the Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles, Louisiana and fellowship training at the Midwest Foot and Ankle Fellowship in Omaha, Nebraska.

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