By: Radha McLean
A procedure that lengthens the Achilles tendon can provide relief for people with diabetic foot ulcers, according to Dr. Cherie Johnson, DPM, FECFAS, a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon at the Foot and Ankle Clinic in Everett, Washington. Johnson, who presented her research to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) in October 2001, said the surgery works by decreasing pressure on the ball of the foot.
“Most people with diabetes have a tight Achilles tendon that causes ulcer-inducing stress,” stated Johnson. “Over time, a callus on the bottom of the foot will progress to an ulcer simply because diabetic patients can’t feel the pressure sensation.”
Johnson said that, in both published studies and her clinical experience, the procedure has been shown to be effective in treating foot ulcers. The procedure may also work for managing other diabetes-related foot problems, such as adult-onset flatfoot and a condition called rocker bottom Charcot foot that results from a collapsed arch.
For further information about diabetic foot care, contact the ACFAS by phone at (888) THE-FEET (843-3338) or on the Web at www.acfas.org.