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Taking steps to save your feet

March 28, 2009

Re "Doctors target diabetic foot loss," March 22

I work exclusively with diabetic feet. It is alarming that we are seeing younger and younger people with foot ulcers and life-threatening medical issues.

About $3 million for podiatry was recently cut from California's Medi-Cal budget. We podiatrists cannot provide services if we are cut out. Additionally, we must start to bring the governor's challenge to exercise and eat healthy to all our schools.

Diane Branks

Pomona

The writer is a vascular podiatrist at Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park.

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I believe that better education of the signs and symptoms of peripheral arterial disease would be an excellent way to stop the increase in these amputations.

Patients who have non-healing wounds on their lower extremities for more than three to four days, or who get pain in their calf muscles while walking, are having signs and symptoms of PAD. It is those patients who can benefit most from having an angiogram, using either convention contrast media or carbon dioxide, to see if they can have their legs' circulation improved by angioplasty, which is cheaper and less invasive than in-hospital bypass surgery. As in all of medicine, prevention is better than the cure.

Jack E. Rubin MD

Inglewood

The writer is medical director of the Los Angeles Vascular Access Center.

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