The feet and ankles will pick up a multitude of minor wounds during a lifetime. The occasional scrape or cut is rarely a major worry for many people, but something that should never be taken lightly if one has diabetes and/or poor circulation. Even tiny wounds can become a big problem under certain conditions, but the doctors at California Foot and Ankle Specialists are able to address even long-standing injuries with effective wound care.
Why Should Wounds on the Feet Not be Ignored?
The effects of diabetes and other conditions can cause complications in the feet, all of which can work against the proper healing of injuries in that location.
One’s arteries can be narrowed through the buildup of plaque, decreasing the circulation of blood. This can especially have effects on the feet and lower limbs, as the trip to get blood to them is a long one. The worse blood flow is to a location, the harder it is for injuries to heal.
Poor circulation also contributes to nerve damage, or neuropathy, in the feet. Damaged nerves can deaden sensation in the feet so that some wounds may not be felt when they develop.
The two above factors create a dangerous combination. As a wound goes unnoticed and fails to quickly heal, it opens up the potential for the injury to grow worse and even become infected. In severe cases, the consequences can be dire. The rate of amputation in those with diabetes is many times higher than those who do not have the disease, and in most cases infected sores are to blame.
Wound Care without Grafting
The sooner a foot wound is discovered, the easier and more effectively it can be treated. Care should begin right away with home aid, if possible. Clean the wound with running water to remove any foreign matter, then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage to help prevent infection. Next, don’t take any chances: come see us as soon as possible!
After an examination of the wound, sore, or ulcer, we will discuss with you the best options for treatment and healing. This will often depend on the size and severity of the injury, and may include the use of a biologic wound matrix. This is a lab-created tissue that can interact with an injury to stimulate and aid healing. In a majority of cases, the use of a matrix can produce results on non-healing wounds of any age, and does not require any sort of painful grafting. Other forms of treatment include stem cell therapy, Acell therapy, and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
To provide full care, however, the source of a wound and its slow healing rate must be understood and addressed. This may involve recommendations to see other specialists who can help focus on the underlying causes of the problem.
When it comes to diabetes, neuropathy, or circulatory problems, any wound or sore found on the foot must be treated seriously. The doctors at California Foot and Ankle Institute are experts at wound care and prevention, serving not only to heal long-lasting wounds but provide guidance on keeping them from happening in the first place. Schedule an appointment at any sign of need by calling (949) 833-3406 for Irvine or (760) 951-2000 for Victorville. We can also be reached toll-free at (888) 796-6631.