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  • Lipedema

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    Lipedema is a disorder where there is enlargement of both legs due to deposits of fat under the skin. Typically it gets worse over time, pain may be present, and sufferers bruise easily. In severe cases the trunk and upper body may be involved. Lipedema is commonly misdiagnosed. The cause is unknown but is believed to involve genetics and hormonal factors. It often runs in families. Risk factors include being overweight or obese. Other conditions that may present similarly include obesity, lipohypertrophy, chronic venous insufficiency, and lymphedema. A number of treatments may be useful including physiotherapy and exercise. Physiotherapy may help to preserve mobility for a little longer than would otherwise be the case. Exercise, only as much as the patient is able to do without causing damage to the joints, may help with overall fitness but will not prevent progression of the disease. While surgery can remove fat tissue it can also damage lymphatic vessels. Treatment does not typically result in complete resolution. It is estimated to affect up to 11% of women. Onset is typically during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.

  • Diabetic foot

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    A diabetic foot is a foot that exhibits any pathology that results directly from diabetes mellitus or any long-term (or "chronic") complication of diabetes mellitus. Presence of several characteristic diabetic foot pathologies such as infection, diabetic foot ulcer and neuropathic osteoarthropathy is called diabetic foot syndrome. Due to the peripheral nerve dysfunction associated with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), patients have a reduced ability to feel pain. This means that minor injuries may remain undiscovered for a long while. People with diabetes are also at risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer. Research estimates that the lifetime incidence of foot ulcers within the diabetic community is around 15% and may become as high as 25%. In diabetes, peripheral nerve dysfunction can be combined with peripheral artery disease (PAD) causing poor blood circulation to the extremities (diabetic angiopathy). Around half of patients with a diabetic foot ulcer have co-existing PAD. Where wounds take a long time to heal, infection may set in and lower limb amputation may be necessary. Foot infection is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation in people with diabetes.

  • Prehensile feet

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    Prehensile feet are lower limbs that possess prehensility, the ability to grasp like a hand. They are most commonly observed in monkeys, who similarly possess prehensile tails, and apes. Due to the development of bipedalism in humans, the hands became the focus of prehensility and the feet adjusted to more of a stabilizing role. It may be possible, however, that the foot does not reach its limits of dexterity due to the constant muscle tension needed in stabilizing and balancing the foot to hold up the legs and the rest of the frame. In cases of people who are born without or lose their arms or hands, the feet, like the tongue and other parts of the body, are explored in greater function to stand in for the absent hands in performing daily human tasks. In many cases, greater prehensility is developed out of necessity and practice, and a person is able to type on a keyboard at impressive speeds. Small objects may also be grasped between the toes, and manipulated as with a hand with the ankle functioning as a wrist.

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