Diabetic Ulcers and Podiatric Malpractice: Causes and Consequences

Larry Karam, founding attorney of The Law Firm of Lawrence M. Karam, P.C., has spent decades protecting the rights of New York patients who have been mistreated at the hands of a negligent or incompetent podiatrist.

One common way podiatrists fail their patients is by not properly treating diabetic foot ulcers. If you have suffered harm because your podiatrist did not diagnose, monitor, or treat your diabetic ulcer carefully, and if it seriously worsened as a result, you may well have a strong claim of medical malpractice. Do yourself a favor and contact Larry today. Your consultation will be free and you will pay nothing until Larry wins damages for you.

Causes of Diabetic Ulcers

Diabetes is a complex and far-reaching disease, affecting just about every system of the body. Unless it is carefully controlled, which is at best tricky and at worst impossible, diabetic ulcers are a common complication caused by one or many of the following: 

  • Poor glycemic control
  • Improper foot care (e.g. inspecting, monitoring and treating small injuries immediately)
  • Ill-fitting footwear (friction, pressure, irritation)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (lack of feeling in your feet, common in 60 percent of patients with diabetes)
  • Poor circulation, resulting in very dry skin and restricted sensation

Consequences of Diabetic Ulcers

Because many diabetic patients have decreased blood circulation and limited sensation in their feet, foot ulcers can easily become infected. More than that, infections in the feet that are neglected can quickly worsen. If bacteria get into an ulcer, they can rapidly spread to deeper layers of skin, into muscle tissue, or even into bones. In too many patients with diabetes, this can lead to tissue death (gangrene) and sometimes require amputation.

According to the NIH, 25 percent of people with diabetes will develop foot ulcers and 14 to 24 percent of these patients will require an amputation. All patients with diabetic foot ulcers have about a 40 percent risk of dying within 5 years. With these statistics on your mind, you have to be a strong advocate for yourself and make sure you have a similarly strong legal advocate to protect your health and your future.

How to Gauge Your Podiatrist’s Level of Care

If you are a patient with a diabetic ulcer, you should be aware of how well your podiatrist is meeting the standard duty of proper diabetic care. At a minimum, your podiatrist should be doing everything possible to reduce your risk of infection, relieve your pain, avoid a potential amputation, and improve your quality of life.

Pay attention to how well your podiatrist:

  • Sterilize and bandage the wound
  • Pays attention to changes in the ulcer (e.g. redness, warmth, swelling, secretions) 
  • Removes dead skin and tissue (debridement)
  • Discusses your complex case with your endocrinologist
  • Administers a probe-to-bone (PTB) test for osteomyelitis)
  • Recommends hospitalization at the first sign of serious trouble 
  • Only recommends amputation as a last resort

Most of all, always be proactive about getting another opinion if you feel uncomfortable in your podiatrist’s care.

What It Takes To Prove Podiatric Malpractice

The law requires that medical practitioners render care consistent with the standards of care applicable to your situation.   Your podiatrist must meet those standards of care in terms of knowledge, skill, and judgment. If your podiatrist has failed to do this and you have suffered harm as a result, you are entitled to sue for damages for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and all other expenses related to your injury.

How Larry Karam Can Help

Larry has the seasoned skills to examine medical records, interview witnesses, negotiate and litigate forcefully, and consult with experts ready to testify on your behalf. He also has a strong track record of successful outcomes so you can count on his forceful representation both in and out of the courtroom.

Contact Our Accomplished Podiatric Malpractice Attorney Today

As soon as you contact our office, you will know that you have made the right choice. Larry Karam will provide you with the powerful legal representation and moral support you need and will fight aggressively for your right to maximum damages.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.