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Family Foot & Ankle

The Importance of Diabetic Wound Care

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If you just can’t wait to get into the Christmas spirit (and start checking items off your shopping list), you don’t want to miss the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market, running this weekend only at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Explore aisles of boutiques and specialty stores with one-of-a-kind clothes, décor, gourmet foods and treats, wine, and more.

Another thing you don’t want to miss? Detecting a diabetic ulcer. More important than checking off your Christmas list, is checking your feet for potential dangers, and making sure that if you find anything, you seek diabetic wound care as soon as possible.

Without prompt treatment, wounds on your feet can become infected, as diabetes impairs the body’s natural healing processes. If the infection has reached the bone, or the damage to tissues is severe, amputation may be the only choice.

The first step in diabetic ulcer treatment is typically debridement, which is the removal of dead skin. Extracting necrotic tissues reduces the likelihood of infection and also improves healing pace. Once the affected tissue is removed, the site is cleaned and dressed.

Since ulcers usually appear in weight-bearing areas like the soles of your feet, staying off your feet (called offloading) is also typically recommended for a period of time. You may be given crutches or a wheelchair to use while the wound heals. Casts, braces, orthotic devices, or special shoes may also be used to aid treatment, speed recovery, and prevent further injury.

The biggest concern with diabetic ulcers is infection control. An infection that spirals out of control can cost you a toe, a limb, or even your life. We may take a cell culture or X-ray to determine the type and severity of an infection and prescribe appropriate antibiotics. In extreme cases, hospitalization may be required.

After your appointment, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. To heal fully and to avoid infection, it is important that you keep weight off the area, keep the site clean and dressed, keep your blood sugar at a stable level, and obey any other at-home care instructions you may receive.

If you notice any sores on your feet, don’t wait. Call Greater Cincinnati’s foot and ankle experts, Family Foot and Ankle Center right away for a full evaluation and immediate treatment. You can reach us at (513) 728-4800 for our five Ohio-based offices, or (859) 282-1572 for Florence, KY.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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