If you’re living with diabetes, you may be prone to foot problems—including frequent wounds. Getting immediate care for this issue is crucial to preventing or stopping infection and other serious complications, including limb loss.
At Union County Hospital, we offer a full range of treatments to help you heal. Podiatrists specialize in surgical debridement, an outpatient procedure to remove unhealthy tissue from foot wounds and promote a fast recovery.
About Diabetic Foot Wounds
People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing sores on the bottom of their feet, including non-healing wounds which may lead to ulcers. Ulcers form due to a combination of factors, such as poor circulation, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or ill-fitting shoes, as well as lifestyle factors like alcohol and tobacco use.
Symptoms may go unnoticed until the ulcer has become infected, because many diabetics have lost the ability to feel pain in their feet due to nerve damage (neuropathy). One of the first signs you may see is drainage on your socks, as well as swelling, red or black discoloration and odors.
If you spot any of these signs, it’s important to get treatment right away. The faster the wound heals, the less chance for infection or related problems.
Surgical Care to Speed Healing
Your podiatrist at Union County Hospital will assess the severity of your wound or infection, and work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. Non-invasive options may include antibiotics or topical treatments, or special footwear that reduces pressure to the area with the ulcer.
If the wound does not respond, we may recommend surgical (or sharp) debridement, the gold standard treatment for severe diabetic foot infections. The procedure cleans out any dead or infected tissue, helping stop the growth of bacteria and making it easier for the body to develop healthy new tissue.
As needed, we also collaborate with members of our limb preservation program to help reduce the risk of amputation.
Recovery & Follow-Up Care
We usually perform wound debridement on an outpatient basis, so you can go home the same day as surgery.
The results are immediately notable, though complete healing may take several weeks or months, depending on the wound size and location, circulation in the foot and other factors.
Your podiatrist and dedicated care team will closely monitor your healing. That includes arming you with the education need to prevent a recurrence, such as controlling blood glucose, selecting the right shoes and living your healthiest life.
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