Wound Care Treatments

Updated 11/16/2022
Wound Care Treatment, University Foot and Ankle Institute

No matter how cautious you are, cuts, scrapes, and even serious wounds happen. When these wounds happen on your toes, feet, or ankles, they can be difficult to heal and very painful. 

 

Healthy, functional feet support your body through day-to-day life, so it’s important to take proper care of a foot wound from the very moment it occurs.

Wound prevention for diabetic patients 

Diabetic patients are unfortunately at higher risk of amputation from even small injuries. The best thing you can do for your diabetic foot care is manage your blood sugar. High blood glucose levels can cause blood vessels to narrow and decrease blood flow to the extremities. 

 

To prevent severe infection, you need to take care of your feet. We recommend performing a foot check daily for cuts, scrapes, blisters, calluses, or ulcers. The earlier we can begin treatment, the better your outcome.

 

Foot wound treatment options

Simple foot wounds should be treated immediately by cleaning the area, applying antiseptic ointment to prevent infection, and bandaging the wound to keep it moist and free of dirt. Cuts, scrapes, and even blisters can develop into ulcers if left unaddressed.

 

Once a foot infection or ulcer has developed, more intense care may be needed. If you notice any signs of infection, such as fever, pus, or skin that is red or hot to the touch, contact your podiatrist immediately.

 

Wound debridement 

To speed up the healing process, dead tissue can be removed from the wound surgically or with chemicals. A wound dressing is then applied to protect the new tissue and reduce the risk of infection. Read more about wound debridement here.

 

Nail avulsion/excision 

A severely ingrown nail or a toenail that has been irreparably damaged by fungus, trauma, or thickening may need to be removed. Nail avulsion is a slow, painless process of chemically eroding the nail plate. In more serious cases, the nail can be surgically excised — gently cut away and removed. 

 

Collagen dressing 

About 4.5 million people in the U.S. have chronic lower extremity wounds. Collagen plays an important role in wound healing. Collagen wound dressings put collagen in direct contact with the wound, triggering natural growth factors in the area. 

 

Compression therapy 

Compression is the standard treatment for venous ulcers. Applying compression bandages and wrappings decreases swelling around the wound and put pressure on surface veins, decreasing the chance of venous ulcer recurrence. 

 

Fat grafting 

While pressure ulcer treatment usually involves offloading to relieve pressure on the injured area, we now have additional treatment options. Fat grafting takes fat cells from another part of the body and grafts them to the wound site. This can decrease pressure on the wound sites and prompt the formation of new blood cells — which is vital for wound healing. Read more about fat grafting here.

 

VAC therapy 

Also called negative pressure wound therapy, vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) uses gentle suction to help a wound heal. Suction removes excess fluid from the wound, decreasing swelling, and removes bacteria from the area. Poor circulation slows or prevents wound healing; luckily, VAC therapy has also been shown to increase blood flow to the area.

 

Because it can improve blood flow, VAC therapy generally improves the quality of life in patients with diabetic ulcers. 

 

Amputation 

We try to avoid this option whenever possible. However, if a wound is left untreated for too long — for example, if nerve damage prevents you from noticing an injury until it’s too late — gangrene can develop. When decreased blood flow in the injured area results in advanced tissue death, partial or total amputation may be our only treatment option. 

 

Early amputation can stop the spread of gangrene and prevent further tissue death and loss.

 

Skin biologic therapy 

Biologic treatments improve the body’s natural immune system. Biologic skin substitutes protect open wounds from dirt and bacteria and keep the wound moist so it can heal more effectively.

 

Skin grafts 

For particularly large wounds, skin can be taken from elsewhere on the body and grafted onto the wounded skin. This helps the skin heal faster and improves the appearance of the injury.

 

Skin perfusion vascular testing 

Also called a skin perfusion pressure test, skin perfusion vascular testing checks for obstructed capillaries in the lower extremities. Assessment of blood flow is essential for diabetic foot wounds and foot wounds associated with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

 

Flexor tenotomies 

Flexor tenotomy is a minimally invasive surgery often used to treat foot deformities such as hammer toes, claw toes, and mallet toes. These foot problems can result in nerve pain, calluses, and ulcers.

 

Flexor tenotomy is also an alternative treatment for diabetic neuropathy foot ulcers on the distal end of the toe.

 

Amniotic skin graft substitutes 

An amniotic tissue graft is a skin substitute product often used to treat chronic wounds.

 

UFAI, Southern California’s largest foot and ankle wound treatment specialists

UFAI is nationally recognized for advanced wound care treatment far beyond what a primary care physician can provide. Our doctors have decades of combined experience managing the special circumstances surrounding all types of foot and ankle wound care.

 

As one of Los Angeles’ largest podiatric healthcare practices, our wound care center offers multi-disciplinary medical care and diagnostic testing on-site, offering our patients convenience and peace of mind. Beyond wound care, our DPMs also excel at the treatment of bunions, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and diabetic foot wounds.

 

We are conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area, as our foot doctors are available at locations in or near: Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Northridge, Downtown Los Angeles, Westlake Village, Granada Hills, and Valencia, California. We accept over 1,000 PPO health insurance plans, including Medicare.

 

If you want to learn more about how UFAI can help you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our foot and ankle specialists by calling (877) 736-6001 or making an appointment online.

  • UFAI offers patients vacuum-assisted wound closure care that delivers negative pressure to speed up and promote healing and prevent wound infection.

  • Our wound care specialists utilize wound debridement to remove non-viable tissue from new or chronic wounds to promote healing.

  • If tissue destruction, infection, or disease affects a foot and makes it impossible to repair, that part may be removed by surgical amputation.

  • Our physicians can approach chronic wounds with a combination of two therapies: compression dressing and collagen dressing.

  • Nail avulsion is the separation of the toenail from the nail bed. This can be caused by trauma or injury that tears off part or all of the nail or performed as a medical procedure.

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