Seniors Need Regular Podiatric Check-UpsOlder people can develop systemic conditions like diabetes or vascular disease that cause problems in the extremities. Peripheral neuropathy, which can be a symptom of diabetes, causes loss of sensation in the feet and can affect walking and balance, making falls more likely, points out Dr. John Dailey, a podiatrist with The Missouri Foot & Ankle Institute in Washington, MO. Circulatory problems also can cause injuries to become ulcerated and painful because an inadequate blood supply slows healing.
“Usually, older patients see me when a problem has occurred, but preventive care would be better,” Dailey says. “Billions of dollars were spent last year on treating conditions of the lower extremities as a result of diabetes. Good preventive care could save money and help people avoid pain and suffering.”
Dailey’s preventive regimen includes regular podiatric check-ups. “I suggest everyone see a podiatrist for a preventive exam, just like you would see your primary-care physician on a regular basis,” he says. “Those who have health conditions should be checked twice a year. We may take x-rays, examine how you walk, and make sure you’re wearing appropriate shoes.”
Source: Connie Mitchell, Ladue News [10/15/09]
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