Be Aware of What a Diabetic Foot Ulcer is
Have you ever heard about a diabetic foot ulcer? It is an open sore or wound that may often occur in almost 15% of patients particularly those with diabetes. This problem is commonly found at the bottom of the foot. Among patients, who develop such foot ulcer, about 6% of them need to be hospitalized because of infection or some other ulcer-related complication.
Foot ulceration may precede 85% of diabetes-related amputations. Medical researchers have found that the development of such a foot ulcer can be prevented if you get treatment from any foot and ankle specialist Orange County.
What are the causes of foot ulcers?
As we mentioned above that patients who are having diabetes are usually more likely to develop a foot wound. Most patients who are more prone to develop an ulcer will mostly be among the people older age and also have diabetes-related kidney, heart, or eye disease.
The following are among the group of people who have a much higher risk to develop such foot ulcers:
- African Americans
- Native Americans
Also, those who are using insulin will be at higher risk of developing such a foot ulcer. The following are also a few major contributing factors that can promote the development of foot ulcers:
- Alcohol consumption
Also, how long the patient suffering from diabetes, poor blood circulation, foot trauma, numbness in their foot, and also foot deformities are a few combination factors that are responsible for causing ulcers in the foot.
In addition to all the above, neuropathy is a certain condition that all patients having long-term diabetes may develop. This disease is generally caused by nerve damage as well as high blood sugar and is a partial/complete lack of feeling the sensation of pain in the foot over some time.
Nerve damage in neuropathy may happen silently and also without any feeling of pain. Because of this characteristic, possibly the patient might not at all be aware of the problem and also its progression.
Nevertheless, your podiatrist in wound care Orange County can determine the existence of such a condition simply by using a monofilament. They will perform testing on the feet of the patient for neuropathy.
There are chances that your foot ulcers may get more complications with the development of vascular disease, which can reduce your body’s healing ability and also will increase the risk of infection in your foot.
Also, at the same time because of high level of blood sugar, it will reduce the ability of your body to fight infection, thus making the healing process much slow in your foot.
What are the symptoms?
Since many patients who develop such foot ulcers may have lost their ability to feel any pain, and hence pain is not a common symptom. Often, the first thing that you may observe is some drainage on your socks.
Besides that, redness and swelling can also be related to the ulceration and, if it has already progressed significantly, there can also be an odor.
A podiatrist in Orange County wound care will oversee your foot and ankle health and will be interested in checking the following factors.
1. Is there sufficient blood circulation to heal your ulcer?
The podiatrist may refer to a vascular surgeon if blood circulation is insufficient for necessary surgery.
If surgery is not possible then other treatments like hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be considered.
2. Are there biomechanical forces that can cause your wound not to heal?
If excessive pressure exists in certain areas, then certain devices will be prescribed to offload the ulcer. If there exists a bony prominence that is the reason why the wound is not healing, then surgery may be performed to reset your bone.
3. Is there any risk of infection?
If there is any non-viable tissue that obstructs healing then this will be removed. Also, there can be pus pockets, abscesses, and sinus tracts, which are tunnels of bacteria that can travel down deeper into your tissue.
The podiatrist in Irvine is specializing in treating without operation and is having more than 20 years of experience in the treatment of foot and ankle problems.