Have a wound on your foot or leg that just won’t heal? We know the feeling. Lower extremity wounds can appear—and linger—for a wide variety of reasons. Diabetes is the most common cause, but not the only one. Surgical wounds, trauma wounds, ischemic wounds, and venous leg ulcers are also on the list.
Of course, minor cuts and scrapes can be treated at home by thoroughly rinsing the site with clean water to remove debris, applying antibiotic ointment, then covering with a clean bandage. But if you’re dealing with a more significant wound, especially one that’s not getting any better, it’s vitally important that you don’t try to take treatment on yourself—at least not at first.
To get the healing you need and prevent infections (that could even lead to amputations), you need an advanced wound care team. The physicians at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists are expertly trained in comprehensive wound care and are on staff at the Chandler Wound Healing Center. They have access to tools such as dressings, compression wraps, tissue grafts and substitutes (such as AmnioFix), off-loading devices, and even hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
That said, treatment doesn’t end the minute you leave the wound care center. You will need to carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions and continue the healing process at home. At a minimum, this will require you to stay off the wound (we’ll provide crutches or a wheelchair) until you’re cleared for weight bearing, and you may also have to re-medicate and re-bandage your wound at home according to a regular schedule. Of course, we’ll provide the schedule and make sure you and any caregivers are fully trained on the procedure.
An important but often overlooked aspect of home care for wounds is creating an optimal environment for healing. Wash your hands regularly, especially before and after re-dressing a wound, to avoid contamination. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range is crucial. For anyone (diabetes or not) a good diet can make a huge difference—lots of water, healthy protein, vitamins and minerals. Again, we’ll be able to make more specific diet recommendations based on your individual needs.
Don’t underestimate a chronic wound. If you’re struggling with sores that won’t heal, please call the wound care experts at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona today at (480) 963-9000.