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September 18, 2001

Complications

Question from Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA:

I am a 44 year old male, I have had type 2 diabetes for about 15 years, and I had a toe amputated on my right foot about five years ago. After the surgery, I noticed that my foot always seemed to be wider than my left, almost to the point of looking swollen. Is this common?

Answer:

I suspect this is the result of a generalized breakdown in the structure of the foot brought on by neuropathy and complications from the diabetes. It will be important to protect your feet from further breakdown. This is not necessarily a complication of the surgery, although it might be hastened by the fact that the distribution of your weight may have changed after surgery.

JTL