A wound can form from a wide variety of conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, vascular disease, trauma and much more. Wounds should not be ignored as they can lead to a more serious bone infection that may result in an amputation. Wound healing is a complex process by which the skin repairs itself after an injury. Early detection is key, and your team at Cornerstone Foot & Ankle will provide an adequate treatment plan to ensure proper healing of your wound.
Treating Diabetic Ulcers of the Feet
Foot ulcers are persistent wounds or sores that do not heal properly or become chronic. Ulcers on the feet occur mainly due to reduced nerve sensation, poor circulation, vein dysfunction, and constant pressure to a particular spot. Patients with diabetes are more prone to ulcers and should seek medical attention immediately. Ulcers may not be painful and are often accompanied by swelling, discomfort, redness, itching, burning, and irritation.
Ulcers may be caused by diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or trauma and are prone to infection. Some infections may even spread to the bone which can lead to amputation. Early detection is key when dealing with foot ulcers.
Ulcers generally develop in the following four stages:
- Stage one. Redness and irritation occur where bones protrude or constant pressure is applied. The affected area’s skin may stay red even after pressure to the spot is alleviated. There may be accompanying discomfort and pain.
- Stage two. Blistering, peeling, and cracking skin are signs of stage two ulcers. Tenderness and pain are felt in the area of the ulcer.
- Stage three. The tissue between the skin and muscle are affected, and broken, bleeding skin appears. At this point, pain may diminish because of more severe tissue damage.
- Stage four. When damaged tissue pervades all the way to the muscle, tendon, and bone, it can result in bone or blood infections. Again, the damaged tissue may not generate pain or discomfort.
The sooner you see a doctor for an ulcer, the better able he will be to properly evaluate, diagnose, and treat any underlying medical conditions, as well as properly care for the wound to prevent infection. At Cornerstone Foot & Ankle our doctors are trained and highly educated on healing chronic ulcers.
Wounds That Will Not Heal Pose a Serious Health Risk
Wounds that do not heal in a timely fashion can become chronic non-healing wounds, which can cause pain, discomfort and limit mobility. Failure of any wound to heal can be due to a lack of one or more of the main requirements of healing, including a good supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, and a clean and infection-free environment. For people with diabetes, diabetic ulcers and diabetic wounds are main causes of forming diabetic foot infections, which can put the limb at risk.
Cornerstone Foot & Ankle provides in-office comprehensive wound treatments including the following:
- Cleaning and bandaging. It can be difficult for people to treat wounds on the bottom of their feet. With early intervention, our medical team can treat wounds with simple procedures before they become chronic.
- Debridement. This process removes dead tissue, foreign debris, bacterial growth, calluses, and wound bed tissue from chronic wounds in order to stimulate the wound healing process.
- Graft applications. Grafting involves taking healthy skin from another area of the body and placing it over the ulcer. This advanced treatment is proving successful for many diabetics with non-healing wounds.
When it comes to wound care, you should contact your physician as soon as possible. Waiting for the wound to heal on its own could result in a more serious infection. So, if you have a non-healing wound on your foot, ankle, or leg—especially if you have diabetes—, we strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment to see us as soon as possible.