Foot Ulcers

Did you know…… Here at Florida Foot Specialist we treat the following.

Foot Ulcers:

A foot ulcer is an open wound or break in the skin of the foot caused by something other than a cut or an abrasion. Foot ulcers are often chronic, meaning that they take an extended amount of time to heal. There are several different causes of foot ulcers each of which have different protocols to heal the ulcer.

Foot ulcers are most common in diabetic patients. This is due to several complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes causes decreased circulation and decreased sensation in the feet. The decreased sensation in the feet causes the patient to be unable to feel when there is too much pressure being applied to a single area of the foot. People with normal sensation would recognize this by feeling pain. They would then accommodate for it to decrease the pressure in that area. Diabetics with decreased sensation don’t know to compensate. This increased pressure over time wears down the skin and opens the wound.

The decreased circulation in the skin causes a delay in healing. Healing a wound is accomplished by blood delivering healing factors to the skin. When circulation is decreased these factors are not delivered to the skin. Blood is also responsible for delivering oxygen to the skin cells. Like any other part of our body when the cells do not have oxygen they die. This makes the skin much more vulnerable to injury.

Once the skin is broken and an open wound exists it is the job of the immune system to prevent infections. In the case of diabetes the high blood sugars decrease the patient’s immune system. This leaves the diabetic patient more susceptible to infections. Also because they have decreased circulation, as stated above, they are unable to deliver the antibodies to clear the infection.

To heal a foot ulcer the most important factor is taking the pressure off of that area. In some cases this requires the patient to bear no weight with the affected foot. If a patient has a diabetic wound, they often need to be seen on a weekly basis to clear out any dead or nonviable tissue. There are many wound care products available to assist in the healing of the wound. The wound needs to be healed as quickly as possible to prevent infection and possible amputation.

If you are at high risk for having a foot ulcer then there are many ways of preventing those foot ulcers from occurring. It is important to be evaluated and to do everything you can to prevent them from happening. This might prevent a serious complication and possible amputation.