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Diabetes and Foot Wounds

Diabetes + Poor Circulation Can Result In…

Diabetes can sometimes lead to blood circulation issues and nerve damage in the foot. Patients can unknowingly develop wounds on their feet due to lack of sensation or feeling due to the nerve damage inflicted by the diabetes.
 
Again, diabetes can cause issues with blood circulation as well. The lack of circulation can result in the wounds or ulcers not healing, and thus results in a high risk for amputation. The good news is that proper foot care and diabetes management can lead to fewer cases of this happening. In fact in the last 20 years, better diabetes care has led to a 50 percent drop in amputations in the lower limbs!
 
A 2012 study found that foot ulcers occur in 4-10 percent of people with diabetes. Most of those cases have good outcomes:
  • 60-80 percent of foot ulcers will heal
  • 10-15 percent will remain active
  • 5-24 percent will eventually lead to limb amputation within 6-18 months of the initial evaluation
 
In order to prevent amputations, proper foot care is needed, especially in diabetic patients. Here are a few tips to help take good care of your feet:
  • Examine feet regularly for cuts, bruises, blisters, and scrapes
  • Wash feet daily
  • Wear clean, dry socks
  • Wiggle toes frequently to stimulate blood flow
  • Trim toenails carefully.
  • Buy shoes that fit properly.
  • Schedule regular foot examinations
  • Don’t walk barefoot
 
If you are concerned of any open wounds or sores on your feet, scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider or podiatrist is recommended.

Do All Wounds Heal the Same?

For most people, with a little patience and maybe a topical ointment, healing from a wound is a natural process. For others, wound healing is a challenge. In these cases, the help of a specialist experienced in treating wounds may be necessary. Seeing a medical professional who is a certified wound specialist ensures that you receive the best care for slow-healing and non-healing wounds.
 
At Vascular Institute, most of the wound treated are from diabetic patients that have open sores that won’t heal. Many signs this is a sign of vascular issues and the affected area not receiving the blood flow needed for the wound to properly heal.
 
Some of the types of wounds that may benefit from our extremity wound care are:
  • Diabetic foot, leg and other wounds
  • Bedsores, or pressure wounds
  • Infected wounds
  • Wounds and weeping dermatitis due to lymphedema
  • Venous ulcers
  • Wounds complicated by peripheral arterial disease
  • Wounds that are slow to heal after surgery or trauma
 
Our wound specialists and medical partners offer comprehensive evaluations of wounds, treatments, wound dressings, and assessments of treatment effectiveness. Treatments may include:
  • Surgical wound closure
  • Wound VAC/Vacuum-Assisted Closure
  • HBOT/Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
  • Living skin substitutes
  • Growth factors
 
Talk to your primary care provider about finding a specialist experienced in treating wounds.