A foot ulcer is one of the common medical complications of diabetes. These ulcers are open sores and lesions of the skin that often don’t heal, and they tend to reoccur and worsen. They can eventually expose the internal organs and tissues, creating a favorable environment for severe infection.
A diabetic can have large foot ulcers that began as minor scrapes, cuts that did not heal, and friction wounds and blisters. Foot ulcers result from the breakdown of skin on the feet and ankles.
Because of this, most diabetes-related foot amputations start with foot ulcers. However, amputations can be greatly reduced with regular foot exams by an experienced podiatrist and with your own daily foot-checks.
Can My Foot Ulcers Be Treated?
Yes. Let’s take a look at some of the foot ulcer treatments and methods that your doctor may recommend or perform:
- Avoiding putting weight on the ulcerated foot. Your doctor may fit you with a cast, special boot, or surgical shoe that keeps pressure off the area.
- Maintaining blood sugar levels in order to facilitate healing.
- Medical debridement of your injury, which will involve your doctor removing the infected tissue so the healthy tissue below can heal over the wound.
- Keeping the ulcer dry by covering it with appropriate wound dressings. Clean the wounds each day and re-cover them with fresh wound dressings in order to encourage healing of the ulcer.
With proper treatment and if caught early, a diabetic foot ulcer can show massive improvement within a week. If left untreated, and if the ulcer does not heal, it can worsen over time – which may lead to amputation of one or more toes or the foot in order to stop the infection and save your life.
Diabetic Neuropathy and Diabetic Foot
Foot ulcers occur when there’s peripheral neuropathy – in particular, diabetic neuropathy. This happens when the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves become damaged, resulting in numbness and the inability to feel even mild pain. If you can’t feel pain, even a tiny injury can become worse because you’re not avoiding putting pressure on that spot.
The feet of a diabetic are more susceptible to neuropathy because of imbalanced blood sugar and insufficient blood flow. Diabetes also interferes with wound healing because the diminished blood flow restricts the white blood cells, making it hard for the body to heal the wound.
Diabetic Foot Doctors in Cincinnati
If you have diabetes, it’s vitally important to your health that you partner with a skilled podiatrist who can keep an eye on your foot health. Here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, we know how to prevent and successfully treat diabetic foot in our patients with diabetes.
Our foot and ankle surgeons provide comprehensive care, treatment, and therapy for all foot-related injuries, including diabetic foot. Our medical staff comprises Cincinnati’s leading podiatrists, and we have 18 locations across Cincinnati for your convenience.
To schedule a consultation with one of our caring and experienced podiatrists, call the location nearest you or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you manage your diabetes symptoms so you can enjoy life every day!