Family Foot Care

Treatment of Diabetic Wounds

Because diabetic foot problems are all too common, the treatment of diabetic wounds has become increasingly important in the overall care of diabetics. Dr. Fisher has trained extensively in the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot wounds. Open sores on the feet, also known as "foot ulcers," can arise on the feet of diabetics and are most common on people who have lost sensation in their feet. If foot ulcers are not treated promptly, infections may occur.

The frequency of these ulcerations may be reduced by performing careful daily foot inspections, wearing properly fitting shoes and seeing a podiatrist regularly. Deep depth or custom molded shoes with special inlays or orthoses may also be required. When a diabetic discovers a foot ulcer, they should seek medical care immediately!

High Risk Areas for Foot Ulcers

Ulcers should be professionally trimmed of all dead, infected, fibrous, and callus tissue. If not debrided, these can significantly slow down or prevent wound healing. In the case of infection, bacteria release enzymes which prevent healing. In the case of callus tissue, the thickened callus tissue causes pressure over or around the ulcer which prevents wound healing. Debridement may need to be done weekly by the podiatrist. Debridement of the ulcer often produces bleeding as the dead tissue is removed and healthy bleeding tissue is exposed. The bleeding is beneficial because it delivers platelets and growth factors to the ulcer bed. If bone is exposed, it may need to be debrided or completely removed to allow for healing.

Healing of foot ulcerations takes time. Ulcers can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months to heal. Factors influencing the rate of healing include:
  • size and depth of original ulcer
  • amount of time before treatment is initiated
  • amount of pressure on ulceration
  • quality of blood flow to foot
  • patient's compliance with treatment
  • and many others...
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