Diabetes is a serious problem – for both our nation and anyone who has the disease. On the national scene, over 29 million people are diabetic. That would be concerning by itself, but there are also approximately 80 million more who are considered to be prediabetic (which means they have blood sugar levels higher than normal, but not quite high enough to actually be considered diabetes).
If you are diabetic—and 1 in 4 people are but don’t even know it—you should already be aware of how dangerous this disease truly is. Elevated blood sugar levels impair the immune system, damage vital nervous tissues, and constrict blood vessels. When your circulatory and nervous systems are under attack and your immune system rendered ineffective, minor problems can become major medical emergencies rather quickly. As such you need to know what to do when you discover a diabetic wound.
Not sure what a diabetic wound is? Basically, it is any cut, scrape, callus, blister, ingrown toenail, or anything else that is not normal – either from internal or external origin.
Because of the aforementioned damage to body systems, you don’t heal like an otherwise healthy person would. When tissues break down (ulceration), it opens the door for microbial contamination. This is undesirable for a person without diabetes, but it’s downright dangerous when diabetes has compromised the immune system and the body cannot fight off an infection.
Diabetic foot ulcers are, to severely understate the matter, bad news. They actually have a mortality rate that is worse than the rates for several prominent forms of cancer. Further, ulcers are leading cause of limb amputation.
So what do you need to do when you find a diabetic wound? Put simply, you need to come see us as soon as possible. We provide services to protect your feet, including:
- Wound assessment. Our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona is trained and skilled at evaluating the situation and determining if the wound is neuropathic, ischemic, or neuro-ischemic. Essentially, this the first step in providing the care you need, one wherein we identify wound progression, infection, and potential healing.
- Tissue debridement. This particular service is a matter of removing necrotic (dead) tissue which can stimulate healing, allow inspection of underlying tissue, reduce pressure, and optimize wound dressing effectiveness (by helping with wound drainage or secretion).
- Infection control. One of the main concerns with diabetic wounds is infection risk. We can determine the appropriate measures that will be needed for infection control – including oral and topical antibiotics. This also entails ensuring that your wound dressing is not too wet (or too dry, but that tends to play less of a role with regards to infection control).
- Pressure offloading. A key factor for preventing complications from a diabetic wound is reducing or offloading pressure from appropriate areas in the lower limb. This is something we will discuss together at your appointment, so you can understand the importance of wearing the removable medical devices we prescribe.
Even better than coming to see us if you discover a diabetic wound—which you absolutely need to do!—is taking measures and avoiding one from developing in the first place. With that in mind, come in and see us here at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona so we can work with you to create a diabetic foot care plan.
Call us today at (480) 963-9000 or request your appointment at either our Gilbert or Chandler office by using our online form right now!