Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Everyone suffers the occasional cut, nick, scrape, or bruise. It’s a part of life. But the way our bodies deal with such seemingly minor injuries can vary significantly. If you suffer from diabetes, and the reduced circulation in the lower extremities that often accompanies the diagnosis, there really aren’t any “minor” foot injuries.
Ulcers occur in about 15 percent of all people with diabetes. Often, they start from humble beginnings—for example, a burst blister or a moderate cut that just wouldn’t heal. The slower the healing process, the more likely a minor injury worsens or gets infected. Left unchecked, it could even threaten the health of the entire foot, forcing a complicated surgery or even preventative amputation. Indeed, up to 1 in 5 patients with diabetes who have developed at least one ulcer may ultimately require an amputation at some point in their lives.
The most frustrating part of all this? The worst consequences are almost always preventable.
At Gulf South Foot & Ankle, we take diabetic wound care extremely seriously. If you have diabetes and notice any existing ulcers or injuries that aren’t improving (and you should be checking every day!), book an appointment to see us right away. Your long-term health, happiness, and mobility may be at stake—you don’t want to gamble with your future!
After we get a close look at the state of your ulcer, we’ll clean the injury site of any dead skin or tissue. This process is called debridement, and it not only clear out possible infecting agents, but also gives healthy tissue the room it needs to heal properly. We’ll also make sure any necessary medications are taken, applied, or prescribed, and make sure you’re bandaged properly. If there’s a serious ongoing infection extra steps may need to be taken (including potentially hospitalization), but the goal is to avoid this.
After the initial appointment, you’ll need to keep weight off the foot for a period of time, which may require the temporary use of crutches, a wheelchair, or other supports. You’ll also need to attend a few follow-up appointments and change your bandages periodically; we’ll make sure you’re instructed how to do this properly.
It bears repeating—if you have an ongoing injury, ulcer, or wound on your feet, don’t take the risk. The team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle can help you get better. We might even save your foot. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (504) 708-4810 for the Metairie office, or (985) 809-1464 for Covington.