Foot ulcers associated with vascular diseases and circulatory disorders can be very resistant to healing, leaving them much more prone to developing serious infections and even increasing the risk of amputation. Podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeons Colin Graney, DPM, and Mary Hickner, DPM offer a comprehensive array of treatment options for foot ulcers at Madison Advanced Foot & Ankle in Madison, Wisconsin. If you’re looking for a highly trained and personable podiatrist, call or book an appointment online today.
A foot ulcer is a sore that resists healing, often taking several weeks to heal or requires medical intervention to heal completely. An ulcer may reach into the deeper layers of tissue, and nerve damage also frequently occurs.
Because the skin remains open, ulcers are associated with a significantly increased risk of infection which can become very severe. In fact, foot ulcers are a major cause of lower limb amputations in the United States, most notably among people with diabetes.
Foot ulcers typically develop in people with compromised circulation, including people with diabetes, varicose veins, and other vascular conditions. Circulation is a vital part of the body’s natural healing process, bringing nutrients and other blood-borne elements necessary for tissue regeneration while also carrying away toxins and debris.
When circulation is compromised, healing is delayed or even prevented. In addition, people with circulatory disorders also often have changes in the texture of the skin, making skin more fragile and likely to become damaged, which means sores also are more likely to form.
A foot ulcer can be very serious, and unlike a “common” sore that heals on its own with minor or no intervention, it requires a doctor’s care to ensure it heals properly so infection can be avoided.
Common treatments include oral or topical antibiotics combined with compression therapy using compression bandages. Dr. Graney may recommend procedures to close off damaged veins that could be interfering with healing, such as removing the damaged and dead tissue surrounding the ulcer.
Most patients require a combination of treatments for optimal healing.
One of the best ways to prevent foot ulcers is to schedule a vascular evaluation with Dr. Graney. Although circulation is critically important to good health, many people overlook the need for vascular screening tests that can identify circulation problems even before they cause significant symptoms.
Patients at risk for vascular disease can receive important guidance about lifestyle changes that can help prevent ulcers from forming. Quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet are also important for maintaining healthy foot veins.
For expert care of foot ulcers, call Madison Advanced Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.