How to Speed Up Healing of a Painful Diabetic Ulcer

“Hi this is Dr. Silvester, and I want to talk to you just briefly today about plastic surgery techniques that we use to help heal diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers are fairly common – we see them all of the time in our office and usually they’re quite small. Occasionally, we run into a fairly large defect that, if we allow it to heal secondarily, which means just taking care of the wound, offloading it, doing the standard wound care techniques, it’s going to take months for that wound to heal.

There are ways to dramatically shorten that recovery and that’s using some plastic surgery techniques. For example, sometimes we get these large defects, and we can do a rotational flap with the tissue that’s around it to transfer tissue over the wound so that instead of having a 10 or 7 centimeter wound, you may end up with a 1-2 centimeter wound that takes a much shorter time to recover.

We apply those with the appropriate offloading and surgical techniques and you can dramatically decrease the healing time in a patient with a large diabetic foot ulcer, provided that they have adequate circulation, and in most cases, since they’re diabetic, that their blood sugar is well controlled. If you have those two criteria, you can dramatically decrease the healing time in patients.

If you have a diabetic foot ulcer and you’re having difficulty getting it closed, please give us a call at the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic. Thank you very much.”