Diabetic Foot Wounds
Proper management and care of any wound is important but it is even more important if you are a diabetic. A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of diabetic patients…of those who develop a foot ulcer, 6 percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complication.
“Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the United States, and approximately 14-24 percent of patients with diabetes who develop a foot ulcer will require an amputation. Foot ulceration precedes 85 percent of diabetes-related amputations. Research has shown, however, that development of a foot ulcer is preventable.”
Here are a few key factors in the appropriate treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer:
- Prevention of infection. See a doctor as soon as you notice a wound. Do not wait for it to heal on its own. You may need antibiotics.
- Taking the pressure off the area, called “off-loading”. Staying off your foot as much as possible is very important in allowing the wound to heal and to help prevent reopening of the wound. Proper placement of felt padding around the wound will help off-load the pressure which assists in the healing process.
- Removing dead skin and tissue, called “debridement”. This is to be done by a doctor in a sterile environment and should never be done at home.
- Applying medication or dressings to the ulcer. You need to change your dressing daily and make sure they stay clean and dry. Apply medication that is recommended by your doctor.
- Managing blood glucose and other health problems. As you know it is important to keep your blood sugar levels within the normal limits as much as possible, it is important for your overall health.
If you have any wound on your foot/ankle call Dr. Hollander immediately for an appointment. 707-578-1222.
Remember it is very important to start treatment as soon as you notice a wound. This will give you the best result and the best chance of preventing further complications.
For further reading: http://www.apma.org/Learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=981