Diabetic Foot Conditions: Ulcer Care

Updated 4/7/2021
We discuss diabetic foot ulcers: the risk factors, prevention, and today's latest treatment options

What is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

 

Diabetic foot ulcers (open sores) are by far the most common complication of Type 1 and 2 diabetes, occurring in 15% of all patients. They usually form at the bottom of the foot.


The principal cause of this serious condition is diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) in the foot.


Of those who develop a foot ulcer, 6 percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complications such as infection.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers: causes and risk factors

Diabetic Foot Ulcer Care

Diabetic neuropathy — the result of several metabolic and neurovascular factors — causes loss of pain or feeling in the toes, feet, legs, and arms due to nerve damage and poor circulation.

 

Blisters and sores may appear on numb areas of the diabetic’s feet and heel region. Because there is limited or no feeling, the injury goes unnoticed and eventually becomes an entry for bacteria and infection.

 

Risk factors include cigarette smoking, poor glycemic control, previous foot ulceration or amputations, diabetic kidney disease, and poor circulation.

 

 

Common Diabetic Foot Ulcer Symptoms

Please contact us (or your physician) immediately if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

 

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Open lesions
  • Cracks
  • Sores
  • Pus
  • Odor

 

Diabetic Foot Ulcer Prevention

Proper care of your feet is key to avoiding wound complications. It is essential for you to:

Diabetic Foot Ulcers, University Foot and Ankle Institute
Check your feet for ulcers every single day

Check your feet

It is critically important that you check your feet for ulcers every single day.


Wash your feet

Always keep your feet clean and always use mild soap and water.


Dry your feet well

Always be extra careful to make sure you are not leaving your feet moist. Always make sure they are completely dry every time you wash them to avoid serious problems.


Keep your feet from drying and cracking 

Always use a high-quality cream on your feet to avoid dry skin. Cracking of your skin can lead to serious infections as you are removing leaving your feet open to germs and thus, infections. 

 

Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

If despite all your best efforts in taking care of your feet and you develop a wound, it is imperative that you visit the doctor immediately. There are a number of wound care treatment options available depending on your current condition and medical history, including:

 

Non-invasive treatment options for diabetic foot ulcers

At the University Foot and Ankle Institute, your doctor will explore ways to relieve the pressure and irritation that is causing the ulcer. This is called “off-loading.” This may involve wearing special footgear, a brace, specialized castings, crutches, or the use of a wheelchair. This step speeds the healing process.

 

Your doctor may schedule a non-invasive blood test to determine the level of circulation in your foot. He may also prescribe antibiotics.

 

Stem Cell Cell Therapy

This revolutionary technology uses the body's own healing power to heal wounds.  Stem cell therapy allows for healing in wounds that were considered untreatable in the past. Read more about stem cell therapy here.

 

Surgical treatment options for diabetic foot ulcers

While the majority of diabetic foot ulcers are treated with non-invasive techniques, sometimes surgery is required. Examples of surgical care to remove pressure on the affected area include shaving or excision of bone(s) and the correction of various deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, or bony “bumps.”

 

University Foot and Ankle Institute employs cutting-edge advances in ulcer care. These include the use of genetic skin to close wounds, the use of skin grafts to close wounds, and the use of local skin and muscle flaps to close wounds.

 

Tightly controlling blood glucose is of the utmost importance during the treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer. Working closely with a medical doctor or endocrinologist to control blood glucose will enhance healing and reduce the risk of complications.

 

University Foot and Ankle Institute, the Best Choice for Diabetic Ulcer Care

University Foot and Ankle Institute specializes in all aspects of diabetic ulcer care and has expertise in all forms of ulcer treatment including specialized brace formation, casting technique, surgical wound closure, and genetic skin graft use.

Our doctors are nationally recognized experts in the treatment of diabetic foot care. They have decades of experience and understand the special circumstances surrounding diabetic foot conditions.

 

Utilizing the latest technologies that result in faster healing of diabetic ulcers, our techniques allow for healing that in the past weren't possible.

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