Diabetic Foot Wounds

Diabetic Foot Wounds as Discussed

by Podiatrist Dr. Sydney K. Yau, DPM

In the United States, diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people and up to 25% of those people develop a foot ulcer during their lifetime.  Diabetic wounds that are left  untreated may lead to an amputation.  In fact, one in five people with a diabetic ulcer may eventually require an amputation and diabetic wounds are by far the most common cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.

Diabetes affects the foot in multiple ways that increase the risk of ulceration.  Diabetes affects the musculature of the foot and can cause an imbalance in the foot and change the distribution of pressure across the foot.  Areas not meant to bear-weight may take increased stress and break down.  This is further complicated by neuropathy, or a lack of protective sensation to the foot.  Patients with a lack of sensation from diabetes are unable to sense pain and may develop a break in their skin without even knowing it.

Once ulceration occurs, it is important to have it treated quickly.  Any opening in the skin increases the patient’s risk for infection.  If the foot infection spreads too quickly, amputation may be necessary to salvage the limb and life of the patient.

Patients presenting with a diabetic foot ulcer should be tested for adequate circulation to the foot, as diabetes can also affect the circulation into foot.  Adequate blood flow is needed to ensure proper healing of the wound – without blood flow the wound will not heal.  Infected wounds need to be drained of any infection and treated with antibiotics.  There will always be surface bacteria on the wound, but keeping the bacterial load in wounds down is one of the keys to healing a wound.  Debridement of a wound, which means to cut away any dead tissue surrounding or within the wound, is one of the key ways to reduce the bacterial load in a wound.

After making sure there is circulation and that any infection is well controlled, one of the mainstays to treating a diabetic foot ulcer is to offload it.  Since diabetic foot wounds develop often due to repetitive stress in a particular area, our goal is to distribute the pressure differently in order to heal the wound.  Many modalities can be used for this and each modality can be beneficial.  Modalities can include a total contact cast, walking cast, healing sandal, or orthotic.  Some patients may require surgery either to realign deformities or remove bony prominences that may be causing increased pressure in the area of concern.

The prevalence of diabetes is increasing and with it diabetic foot wounds.  Diabetic foot wounds may lead to amputation, so it is important to have them treated promptly by a professional.   Podiatrists are experts in the field of diabetic foot wounds and we not only evaluate and treat wounds, but we aim to prevent them from recurring once they are healed.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a diabetic foot conditions, we welcome you to schedule a consultant with one of our foot and ankle specialists.  Please call 877-989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

Dr. Sydney K. Yau

Dr. Sydney K. Yau

Dr. Yau received his initial medical training at Temple University in Philadelphia where he specialized in diabetic limb salvage, sports medicine, foot and ankle reconstruction and trauma.

He then went on to complete his surgical reconstruction fellowship with the University Foot and Ankle Institute, one of only a few fellowships recognized by the American College Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Now playing an integral role at the University Foot and Ankle Institute, Dr. Yau’s treats various sports injuries, including sprains, arthritis and fractures. He also is passionate about helping diabetic patients avoid amputation through correction of deformities and wound healing.

Dr. Yau is available for consultation at our Simi Valley location.
Dr. Sydney K. Yau

Latest posts by Dr. Sydney K. Yau (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

10 − six =

  • Google+
    This is my second experience, first plantar fasciitis, now my Achilles, lucky me. :( I would not go anywhere else and my feet are glad. Both times I have totally avoided surgery and for the Achilles, I was REALLY con...
    Steven L.
  • CustomerSure
    Dr. Briskin is the best! My various foot concerns lasted 1.5 years so I had the opportunity to see a lot of Dr. Briskin. He's an excellent surgeon and a lovely person. I'd recommend him to any friend or family member...
    Barbara M.
  • I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for everything you have done for me. You have truly blessed me in more ways than one.
    Lilly
  • ZocDoc
    Very professional and very knowledgeable. I will recommend him to any one!
    Anonymous
  • Angies List
    I would not go anywhere else! They are terrific! Dr. Bob Baravarian is an expert in his profession. No pain, and great care. The best!
    Diane M.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Baravarian is a very caring and patient doctor. During my first visit with him he really took the time to listen to my concerns and talk to me about all my options regarding my chronic pain. I highly recommend Dr....
    Tina B.
  • CustomerSure
    I appreciate the thoroughness of care. Dr. Morris was very detailed in his explanation and options available. I am grateful for the time he took with me.
    Catherine R.
  • CustomerSure
    My experience with the team was wonderful. Thank you very much!
    Shirley F.
  • CustomerSure
    You guys are 3 for 3 on surgeries for me. Thanks so much!
    Paige K.
  • Yelp
    Communication is easy with all levels of staff. I love the reminders that are done via computer. There are a lot loose ends in my day, and the reminders help me stay organized.
    Sharon E.
Same day appointments now available!
or call 24/7:
  • University Foot & Ankle, a Preferred Provider to:
  • UCLA Health System - UCLA Medical Group
  • MPTF - Member Industry Health Network
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • ATP - Association of Tennis Professionals
  • And consulting physicians for:
  • C&S - Cedars-Sinai
  • Saint John's Health Center