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What causes black discoloration on the foot while having diabetes?

Answered by
Dr. Abhay A Mali


Practicing since :2006

Answered : 805 Questions

Posted on Tue, 14 Mar 2017 in Diabetes
Question: Hello, my uncle has Diabetes and is undergoing dialysis. Recently he has developed blackish skin on his foot great toe.
My questions are:
1. Is this gangrene?
2. How can it be treated?
3. If it requires amputation, how soon does that need to be done?

Answered by Dr. Abhay A Mali 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Consult foot surgeon immediately.

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for your question.
Noted your concern.

Went through your uncle's clinical details and pictures attached.

1) Yes there is very likely possibility of gangrene.
2) Without further delay consult foot surgeon if available or go to ER.
There is a need for immediate detailed physical examination.
Assessment of blood supply to legs. For that lower limb arterial doppler may be suggested.
There may be need for hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, insulin treatment for blood sugar control. Assessment of kidney & liver function.
3) Decision of amputation depend upon physical examination & assessment of blood supply.

Hope this helps you.

Dr Abhay Mali.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Abhay A Mali 13 minutes later
I got hold of some report tests and other details. Please suggest after going through the same.

Other details:
Yes it is prolonged diabitic and peritonela dialysis.
Tlc 23 (limit 4-10)
Creatine 7.8

Also attached are test results.
Answered by Dr. Abhay A Mali 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Doppler report is acceptable.

Detailed Answer:
Doppler report suggest adequate blood flow.
But actual physical examination and clinical assessment is important in deciding further line of management.
TLC of 23000 denotes infection.
There is a need for close monitoring of blood sugar levels, blood pressure, urine output and other vitals, intravenous antibiotics.
Follow his treating diabetologist.

Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

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