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Wound Care at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute

wounds

Heal that Wound Now!

Having an open wound, increases the chances of infection. If you have a non healing wound on your lower extremity, it is essential that you act to get it healed as quickly as possible to prevent infection and further complications. If you have diabetes, you are especially at risk for complications. The sooner a wound is treated the greater the patient's chances are of healing.

 

About Diabetic Ulcers

A diabetic ulcer is a sore that forms on your foot, often on the ball of your foot or your toe. While not all ulcers hurt, it is important to get them treated as soon as possible, as they can worsen easily and cause everything from infection to amputation. The good news is that with proper treatment, you don’t need to get to that point. 

Early Intervention for Diabetic Ulcers

You should see your doctor at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute as soon as you suspect you have an ulcer, even if it doesn’t hurt. Early intervention is one of the best treatments for diabetic ulcers. A qualified podiatrist will debride the area (removing dead skin), dress the wound, and advise you on how to care for it in order to remove pressure and prevent recurrence or worsening.

Skin Grafts for Diabetic Ulcer Treatment

When a diabetic ulcer does not improve after conservative treatment, your podiatrist may use a skin graft as a sort of bandage. Skin grafts close wounds and help them heal. Traditionally, skin grafts are done in a hospital setting under general anesthesia. However, diabetic ulcers can often be treated with biosynthetic skin substitutes (also referred to as tissue-engineered skin substitutes, artificial skin, living or human skin equivalents, and skin alternatives) that are grown in a lab and applied on an outpatient basis.

When you come to the office, your doctor will first clean the ulcer and then debride the wound, which means cutting off all the dead skin with surgical tools to make sure no infection remains and the wound is clean. 

The doctor will then apply the biosynthetic skin, which looks a bit like a square of tissue paper. While it might not look like much, this miraculous bit of bioengineering covers and protects your wound, bonds to your skin, and promotes healing. 

Finally, the doctor will bandage the area in gauze to keep it clean. It can take several treatments before your ulcer is completely healed, and you may also wear a boot during that time to help keep pressure off the ulcer.

Additional Treatment Options

While biosynthetic skin grafts are effective, can be applied on an outpatient basis, and can help you avoid hospitalization and amputation for diabetic ulcers, they are not the only treatment option. Your doctor may recommend additional treatment to address the underlying cause of your foot ulcers and prevent a recurrence of the problem. For example:


If you have a Diabetic Foot Ulcer or an open sore on your foot, please call the office immediately and we can get you in here at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute next day, 602-761-7819.

Author
Jeffrey E. McAlister DPM

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