When you’re healthy, your body heals wounds quite efficiently. But, if you have a condition that impairs your healing abilities, such as diabetes, you may need wound healing help to recover and prevent serious complications. At Water Oak Foot and Ankle Surgery, fellowship-trained podiatric surgeon Matthew McCabe, MS, DPM, offers comprehensive wound care, from nonsurgical options like orthotics to surgical solutions. Call the Mansfield, Texas, office or click on the online appointment booking tool now.
There are a variety of reasons a person can develop wounds to the lower extremity and they are rarely in isolation of one another. Common causes of lower extremity ulcerations are neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, excessive swelling, ishemia and shear forces. Foot wounds are common because of the shear forces they experience during ambulation. Neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease are common among the diabetic population.
Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage affecting the feet and lower extremities. There are several causes of neuropathy; in the diabetic population high blood sugars for extended periods of time are the cause of the nerve damage leading to neuropathy. This condition causes numbness, which means you can’t feel nerve signals when you’re hurt. It can also cause pain.
If you have a cut, puncture, excessive swelling or excessive shear forces over a bony prominence on your foot, you may never notice it because of a decreased sensation in that area. This means you’re likely to walk on the wound, worsening it and preventing healing.
Diabetic patients commonly experience poor blood flow to the lower extremities. This is caused by either narrowing of the blood vessels and/or calcification of the blood vessels that deliver oxygenated blood to your feet. When you have a foot wound, robust circulation is vital for healing. Most wounds are preventable and curable.
Peripheral neuropathy and vascular damage are both very serious, and they can combine to cause severe foot wounds if you don’t take preventive steps.
With preventive diabetic foot care, you can avoid serious foot wounds. Dr. McCabe offers customized recommendations to help you stay healthy. This may include:
If you notice a new wound, like a cut, puncture, abrasion or blister during your home foot inspection, don’t delay in seeing Dr. McCabe at Water Oak Foot and Ankle Surgery. The faster you take action, the easier it will be to formulate a plan for wound treatment and management. Some wounds can lead to amputation, therefore it is critical to take preventative action.
There are a variety of treatments for wounds to the foot, there is no one size fits all treatment. Small wounds can turn into big wounds and can cause bone infection, therefore; the purpose of wound care is to prevent amputation. Wound care depends upon where the wound is located, how deep the wound is, what type of damage it causes, and your current health challenges. At Water Oak Foot and Ankle Surgery, our goal is to customize care to fit your needs as well as finding a treatment course that will help heal the wound as quickly as possible.
Dr. McCabe uses a variety of treatments, such as offloading, topical dressings, debriding (removing) dead tissue, advanced grafting and antibiotics if you have an infection. More advanced treatment includes surgery to save the limb from amputation. In extreme cases, microsurgery, skin flaps and/or muscle flaps may be necessary to heal the wound. After residency, Dr. McCabe spent his Fellowship year learning advanced surgical and microsurgical techniques in limb preservation and wound healing. This is something Dr. McCabe is passionate about.
As your wound heals, you’ll typically wear orthotics, diabetic shoes, custom braces or other shoe gear to protect the skin.
For wound care and diabetic foot problem management from a Board Certified expert, call Water Oak Foot and Ankle Surgery or click on the online scheduler now.