BY DR. RENITA PARKER
J.C. Nunn was living with chronic foot pain for weeks, and he didn’t know where to turn. November is American Diabetes Month, and his story is a reminder of what can happen if chronic foot pain isn’t addressed quickly.
He says, “I got an infection in my foot, and it seemed like I wasn’t getting any better. I went to talk to my primary doctor, and he sent me to Dr. [Renita] Parker, and she was the right person for me to see. If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have my toes right now.”
Nunn was suffering from an ischemic limp, a severe blockage in the arteries of the lower extremities, which markedly reduces blood flow. This can be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease and other conditions.
Parker is a podiatrist, a foot-health specialist trained to identify medical emergencies involving the lower extremities as well as common problems that affect patients’ everyday lives such as plantar fasciitis, bunions and other foot deformities.
Of the condition Nunn was suffering with, she says, “According to an article in Endovascular Today, CLI (critical limp ischemia) has increased over the last decade by 12.6 percent and often is misdiagnosed. It is a sad truth, but I have found that patients have suffered from ischemia pain thinking it was just a ‘normal’ thing, and then later find that they have a decrease in circulation, or in some patients, the absence of circulation to a limb. A non-invasive test called an arterial doppler or venous doppler helps identify those patients more at risk for CLI, which can lead to lower limb amputations.”
Nunn initially thought he had an ingrown toenail. However, as soon as Parker saw his foot, she sent him to have emergency surgery.
Nunn explains that the procedure he received was focused on improving circulation to his foot, and it was a quick stay in the hospital. Just a week post-op, he was feeling much better.
If you are suffering from persistent foot pain and aren’t sure where to turn, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to receive the care you need.
Memorial offers both primary care services and virtual visits. Learn more by visiting wearememorial.com or by calling (228) 867-5000.