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Presentation of diabetic foot complications

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Complications associated with a diabetic foot may include:

  • foot ulcers:
    • may be neuropathic or arterial
    • often develop beneath the first metatarsal head or between the toes
    • if neuropathic the ulcer may be painless and deeply penetrating
    • infection is often with Staphylococcus aureus

  • painful necrosis of individual toes:
    • toes may turn blue and then black and mummified
    • toes may then be shed spontaneously
    • toe necrosis also occurs in non-diabetic patients with arterial insufficiency but in diabetic patients the risk of infection is greater

  • extensive spreading skin necrosis:
    • may follow superficial or deep infection

  • chronic ulceration:
    • as a result of pressure sores or minor trauma

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