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November is National Diabetes Month and one of the many conditions diabetics suffer from are foot ulcers. Why should someone choose Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic to treat their foot ulcer?

  1. Our podiatrists thoroughly address the cause of the wound.

When treating these, the majority of healthcare professionals focus on the actual ulcer–or the wound itself. However, treating the wound alone is simply addressing a problem with the skin. If you think about it, you have skin all over your foot. What’s the difference between the skin where there is no ulcer versus the skin where there is an ulcer?  The answer is, “Nothing”. It is not that the skin is weaker where the ulcer is. It is just that the pressure or forces in the specific location of the ulcer are stronger. Clearly, the wound needs to be treated but failure to address the pressure or force that caused the ulcer in the first place, is shortsighted and doomed to fail.

Most people are under the impression that diabetic foot wounds are all caused by lack of circulation. The truth is that this is usually not the case. According to medical literature, only about 30% of diabetic foot wounds are caused by poor circulation. The remaining 70% are caused by the combination of numbness and deformity, or muscle imbalance that causes excessive shear or pressure forces. The numbness makes it impossible for the patient to feel the foot as it is being injured. That’s where we come in. We are experts in getting rid of the shear forces or pressure problems so that the ulcer can heal. For those people who do have circulation problems, we can accurately make that diagnosis with our in-office vascular testing and get you the help you need for improved circulation.

     2. Our patients have a lower recurrence rate of diabetic foot ulcers.

Since most practitioners rarely address the cause of the problem (excessive pressure or friction) the recurrence rate of diabetic foot ulcers is anywhere from 30-70% in as little as one year. This is true with or without special diabetic shoes. If you have a foot ulcer and nothing is done to address the shear forces or pressure forces that caused the ulcer in the first place, the risk of having another foot ulcer, or never healing the original ulcer in the first place, is incredibly high. This is why some people have foot ulcers for years.

     3. Our podiatrists educate the patients and utilize a wide range of treatments.

Our podiatrists spend time with each patient, explaining the cause of the foot ulcer and give them the tools they can use at home to keep pressure off the wound. Our specialists also use advanced technologies to heal the diabetic foot ulcer and, more importantly, solve the cause of it.

Advanced wound care modalities:  If needed, we use collagen matrix, amnion extracts, growth factors, and laser therapy to speed up healing. Most wound care clinics offer similar treatments but we go one step further…

Surgical offloading: This is one of the most powerful tools in healing foot ulcers and keeping them healed. We perform cutting-edge minimally-invasive procedures and tendon balancing that have consistently shown significantly lower recurrence rates and more rapid healing than treating the wound by itself. With most of these procedures, the patient is walking immediately and the surgery recovery can be incorporated into the usual recovery of treating the wound.

We have seen patients that have had foot ulcers for as long as 7 years completely heal in just a few months. Some of these patients have undergone multiple surgeries (usually amputations of some type or another) trying to heal the wound. After appropriate pressure balancing procedures, these wounds have healed within a few months because the cause of the wound has been addressed and resolved.

Most important thing to remember:

IN TREATING MOST DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS IT IS NOT WHAT YOU PUT ON IT (MEDICINE, COLLAGEN, AMNION, OR ANY ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF OTHER PRODUCTS) THAT MAKES IT HEAL…IT IS WHAT YOU TAKE OFF IT (PRESSURE)

If you or a loved one are suffering from a foot ulcer, give us a call at 210-375-3318 to schedule an appointment. We’d be more than happy to help you find relief and improve the quality of your life.

 

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