Seemingly mild foot problems can get very serious in a hurry, leading to amputation or worse, because we often ignore the symptoms. Sometimes, we are in denial or our symptoms are misdiagnosed by our health care provider; other times, we ignore the problems for too long because the symptoms are so similar to things that we have experienced in the past that went away on their own without any problems. But as we get older and develop other health conditions, we have to take some seemingly harmless symptoms very seriously, especially if they are more intense or last longer than normal.
- Tired or Heavy Legs
People with this symptom describe it as though their legs are always tired and stiff. Often, their legs feel heavy when they move, like walking through deep snow. Although there are several possible causes for this condition, one of the most serious is a vascular disease.
- Intense Pain or Burning Sensations in the Leg or Foot
If you have pain or burning sensations in your leg or foot, even when you’re not active, it could be something serious. It could be venous reflux, also called venous insufficiency, which is when the veins in the leg aren’t circulating blood back to the heart properly. In this situation, the blood is blocked up and can begin to flood the surrounding tissue, leading to the burning sensation.
- Numbness in the Leg or Foot
When you have prolonged numbness in the leg or foot, it can be a symptom of a vascular (blood flow) issue. It can also be a sign there is a problem with the nerves in the area. Peripheral neuropathy is when the nerves are damaged or destroyed, and this numbness can be a symptom of one of several serious problems.
- Chronically Cold Toes or Feet
There is a wide range of causes of cold feet and toes, but if you cannot seem to warm your feet or toes with the normal methods, it’s important to see a doctor. It could be a sign of peripheral neuropathy (see #3) or peripheral artery disease, which is when the arteries in your legs or feet are narrowed to the point that you have dangerously bad blood flow to your legs and feet.
- Sores on Your Legs or Feet that Won’t Heal
Sores or wounds that will not heal or heal very slowly, especially ones that will not respond to antibiotics, are a very serious problem. It could be a diabetic foot ulcer, a sign that there is a serious problem with the blood flow or the nerves in the area.
- Discolored Skin on the Lower Leg, Ankle, and Feet
This symptom occurs as red or brown patches on the skin of your lower leg, ankles, or feet. The skin may appear shiny and scaly, or even irritated like a rash. These can be signs of advanced vein disease, such as venous stasis dermatitis or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
- Thickening of Toenails or Nails
A change in the thickness of your toenails may be just one symptom of a fungal infection. Lots of people get fungal infections in their toes, but it’s also more common for people with diabetes and circulatory conditions.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, seek treatment immediately. The sooner your doctor can ensure that the nerves and blood flow are healthy in your extremities, the more likely it is that you will be able to prevent serious injury.
If you have diabetes, or any condition in which you have poor circulation and/or poor feeling in your feet, you and your doctor need to take extra precautions. It’s important for someone with poor circulation to pay extra attention to their feet by keeping them clean and well-tended and by always wearing socks and well-fitted shoes. It’s also important to regularly inspect the feet for sores and warm spots. These issues can turn into serious problems because they are prone to infections and gangrene, which can mean the amputation of a toe, foot, or part of the foot or leg.
Many people are guilty of ignoring these problems until it is too late. Doctors can also be guilty of missing the warning signs of dangerous foot ulcers before significant injuries occur. If you have a severe foot ulcer situation and you were receiving treatment from a health care provider for it, you might need to speak to an attorney to determine if negligence was involved.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Baltimore Attorney
At Brown & Barron, LLC, we put our clients first because we genuinely care about them and want to help them obtain the compensation they legally deserve. We understand that a legal claim may be the only option for some individuals to be able to afford the treatment they need to heal. We also know that making a podiatrist answer for their actions in a court of law can prevent similar malpractices from happening in the future. That is why we are so committed to helping our clients.
Our award-winning lawyers offer free case evaluations to individuals injured by podiatrist malpractice in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help you get started on your claim. With more than 75 years of collective legal experience, you can rest assured knowing that your case is in experienced hands.
Call (410) 698-1717 to arrange a free consultation with a Baltimore lawyer at Brown & Barron, LLC.