Regular Podiatrist Visits are Key for Patients with Diabetes

Although Dr. Matthew F. Wachtler sees patients of all ages and ailments in his practice at Cedar Grove Foot & Ankle Specialists, he makes a significant impact on those with diabetes. “It is important,” he says, “that this population visit a podiatrist regularly, just as they would see their primary care doctor.”

“In addition to the damage diabetes can inflict on the eyes, kidneys, and cardiovascular system, people need to be aware of the damage to their feet, which can begin as vague, subtle symptoms,” he says. “The end result of this damage, however, can be catastrophic.”

People with diabetes are at an increased risk for poor circulation and are prone to nerve damage.  For these reasons, they should check their feet every day, even if their disease is well-managed. “Any skin changes, cuts, blisters, or slow healing wounds should be reported to their doctor,” he says, “as well as numbness, tingling or abnormal sensations.”

Some tips Dr. Wachtler recommends for diabetic patients include daily foot checks, proper exercise, strict diabetes control, annual podiatric examination, and proper fitting footwear. A team approach involving the primary care providers; podiatrists; specialists such as endocrinologists; vascular surgeons; and neurologists are essential to avoid unnecessary complications. 

"Around 25% of patients with diabetes will suffer a foot ulcer in their lifetime,” Dr. Wachtler says, adding that a foot ulcer is the initial event in more than 85% of diabetic amputations. “Although these statistics are alarming, studies show a decrease in amputations of up to 80% when those with diabetes are treated by a podiatrist. Prevention and early intervention is key.”



Cedar Grove Foot & Ankle Specialists

Dr. Matthew F. Wachtler, DPM, FACFAS

886 Pompton Avenue, Suite A-1, Cedar Grove


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03 Aug 2019

By Martta Kelly