Poorly managed diabetes can lead to dangerous foot ulcers. However, ulcerations due to vascular and peripheral nerve damage in the diabetic’s extremities can be treated and even prevented with intervention from an experienced podiatrist and with regular self-care.
Let’s talk about the best treatments available for diabetic foot ulcers in New England.
Reasons for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The American Diabetes Association states that most diabetic foot ulcers originate in a lack of sensation in the feet and ankles. Simply put, patients are unaware of hazards they may step on or collide with throughout their everyday routines simply because they cannot feel and perceive them.
Combine numbness, poor peripheral circulation, high blood glucose levels, and other factors, and a foot wound that remains open are prone to localized infection and even body-wide sepsis. Sadly, gangrene (tissue death) and amputation are common complications of severe diabetic foot ulcers.
Treating Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Treatment begins with an in-office examination with a skilled podiatrist. Depending on the location and extent of the ulcer, the doctor simply may clean and bandage, or protect, the wound. However, more advanced wounds may require:
- Debridement, or removal of dead and/or infected skin and underlying tissue
- Oral or topical antibiotic medications to treat or prevent infection
- Surgery to repair more advanced damage to the foot or ankle
- Offloading of body weight with a walking boot, custom shoe inserts (orthotics), or other assistive devices
- Orthobiologic injections, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy, utilize the patient’s own healing and growth factors to regenerate healthy tissue, increase circulation and avoid infection
Diabetic Wound Prevention Strategies
The best possible treatment for diabetic foot ulcers is prevention. Our podiatrists develop customized treatment plans for each diabetic patient they see. However, in general, they recommend the following:
- Tight control of blood glucose levels
- A healthy diet and adequate daily hydration
- Regular check-ups with the diabetic foot doctor
- Washing and drying the feet daily
- Inspecting feet daily, looking for pressure points, skin irritation, discoloration, cracks, and cuts
- Cutting toenails straight across and even with the top of the toe
- Wearing clean socks daily
- Wearing supportive and protective shoes both indoors and outdoors (no walking barefoot)
Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment in New England
The finest and most up-to-date diabetic foot ulcer treatments are available to people of all ages at the Foot &Ankle Institute of New England. Drs. Criscione, Gallucci, and Rogers are our three highly qualified foot and ankle physicians. Dr. Galluci is certified by the American Board of Wound Management.
A diabetic foot ulcer is one of the podiatry conditions we regularly treat in our clinics, and our doctors can expertly respond to complications, including performing limb salvage surgery. We can give you exactly what you need in terms of foot and ankle care – which is state-of-the-art treatments and highly skilled experts.
To consult with one of our podiatrists, call our podiatry office nearest you or use our convenient online request form.