Diabetic foot service

An expert-led service to help you manage diabetes complications in your feet.


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Managing of diabetic foot conditions

Treatment overview

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects 537 million adults worldwide. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be aware that over time high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) puts you at risk of many complications.

One of the problems caused by long-term high blood glucose is conditions affecting your feet are often collectively referred to as diabetic foot disease, or just diabetic foot. 

Diabetic foot complications can include:

•    Ulcers which do not heal
•    Infection
•    Changes to the shape of your foot which can cause pain and difficulty walking

Managing diabetic foot disease can include making sure that your diabetes and other health conditions are optimally controlled and that your feet are well looked after. 

If there’s any significant deformity, this can be corrected using advanced surgery.

Our world-class service for diabetic foot problems will help to manage any complications you have from diabetes and improve your function, allowing you to do more of what you love.

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Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. The London Clinic is one of only a handful of specialist centres worldwide, equipped with the expertise, facilities and experience to provide reconstruction surgery as part of our comprehensive package of care for diabetic foot conditions.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

An expert multidisciplinary team

Our expert multi-disciplinary team is led by Prof Heidari, an international expert in the fields of limb reconstruction and bone infection. He is supported by Prof Kavarthapu, a pioneering surgeon who has revolutionised the surgical approach to complex diabetic foot deformity corrections. The team work closely with vascular surgeons, endocrine physicians, radiologists and podiatrists to deliver state of the art care.

Personalised treatment for diabetic foot problems

Diabetic foot complications can dramatically change your life as it becomes harder to walk or stand. 

You might find your quality of life isn’t what you’re used to, as your ability to work, see family and friends, or even leave home is impacted. Thanks to our work with a leading orthopaedic surgeon, Professor Nima Heidari, The London Clinic is at the forefront of transforming the outlook for diabetic foot patients with life-changing new techniques in reconstruction surgery.

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More about The London Clinic

The London Clinic is the first choice for many patients as we deliver highly specialised care required to manage the complexities and risks of surgery associated with diabetes. We offer everything you may need on one site, such as:

• Psychological therapy
• Well-being therapies
• Podiatry
• Pathology
• Our own 13-bed intensive care unit
• Eye health
• Nutrition
• Physiotherapy

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Procedures and surgical options

If your diabetic foot disease is more advanced, it may be necessary for procedures to be carried out to try and prevent further complications. 

Procedures can include:

•    Ulcer debridement – in the early stages of diabetic foot, patients may develop ulcers. 
•    Soft tissue balancing – diabetic foot can cause tendons and muscles to become tight or damaged.
•    Bone exostectomy – a bone can develop a bump or protrusion which can cause an ulcer. 
•    Minor amputations – in some cases a toe may become deformed or infected and require amputation.

A doctor bandaging a patients foot

Preventative care

Our options for managing diabetic foot begin with preventative care to avoid further damage to the foot, prevent mobility problems and reduce the risk of more complex surgery.

Preventative care will involve a range of specialists who contribute to your personalised management, including surgeons, diabetologists, nurses and podiatrists.

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Reconstructive foot surgery

Reconstructive procedures for diabetic foot are only available at a handful of centres across the world. 

We’re proud to be able to offer these at The London Clinic. Find out more in the FAQs below: 

If you and your specialist decide that reconstructive surgery should form part of your personalised care, your procedures could include:

•    Charcot correction – a deformity in the middle of the foot requires the use of screws, plates, pins or rods to realign your bones and reshape the foot.

•    Major deformity correction – where the bones, joints or soft tissues of the foot and ankle have become damaged and significantly deformed, a reconstruction can provide better shape and limb function.

•    Two-stage Charcot reconstruction – in severe cases a deformed diabetic foot can become infected and this will need to be cleared before reconstructive surgery can be carried out.

Diabetic foot reconstruction is a six-to-eight-month treatment journey that involves commitment and patience to make a good recovery. 

It could be considered a lifesaving procedure, offering an alternative to the complexities of amputation. These specialist procedures can help you regain mobility and keep your independence, significantly improving your quality of life.

To get the best results from your surgery, you’ll have several consultations and comprehensive assessments to help your surgical team plan your procedure and decide if any pre-treatment is necessary. 

As part of the pre-surgical optimisation, you’ll be assessed by an endocrine physician with a specialist interest in the treatment of diabetic patients with foot problems. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to meet our team of dietitians, podiatrists, psychologists, and physiotherapists, who will prepare and support you through your treatment and a holistic recovery process.

A single-stage surgery takes between three to seven hours depending on how complex the procedure will be. Your foot deformity will be corrected, and the bones set in place using metal rods. 

A two-stage procedure may be necessary if there is a lot of damage or an infection in your foot. You’ll need time to heal before the full reconstruction can take place.

After a complex foot reconstruction surgery, you can expect to stay in the hospital for six weeks while your foot begins to heal. You’ll be cared for by our expert multidisciplinary team with your clinicians making frequent checks on your progress. 

Our specialist nursing staff will ensure that you’re well-cared for and our physiotherapy team will start your daily rehabilitation programme.

Once you leave the hospital, your treatment will continue as an out-patient. 

You’ll have two appointments a week that includes a review with your clinician. If you have a single-stage reconstruction, we expect you to be up and walking unaided within six months.


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