An ulcer is a breakdown of skin that may extend to involve the subcutaneous tissue or even the muscle or bone. These lesions are common, particularly on the lower extremities. Ulcerations associated with diabetes are the most common type of foot ulcers. Most of these ulcers are a direct result of loss of sensation secondary to neuropathy. Approximately 85% of lower limb amputations are preceded by non-healing foot ulcers, making the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers and their recurrence the most important topic in diabetic foot disease.
Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcers is the Best Medicine
The diagnosis of diabetes does not have to lead to future lower limb amputations. A large percentage of these problems may be preventable through routine podiatric care, and by implementing prevention measures before these wounds occur. The very best time to see a podiatrist is before these wounds occur. Discuss with your podiatrist simple procedures that can be performed in-office to optimize foot health. There are proactive surgical steps, for example, correcting the foot deformity to relieve pressure, which can be taken to prevent future ulcerations or amputations. Patients with diabetic ulcers need to be treated aggressively with the latest technology to get the ulcers to heal. There are many new advances in treatment now available, including artificial skin grafts that stimulate the body to heal, different types of off-loading walking boots, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and surgical debridement of the ulcer to get the wound to heal faster, just to name a few. The faster a wound heals, the sooner one gets back to an improved quality of life.