Diabetics are 10 times more likely than non diabetic patients to require a lower extremity amputation in their lifetime. It is therefore important to try to prevent diabetic wounds on feet before they occur. However once they occur, there is no such thing as a “minor” wound on the diabetic foot. All such wounds should be treated promptly.
Wounds (ulcers) on the diabetic foot are classified by their depth, the level of infection, and the circulatory status of the limb involved. Diagnosis of the severity of the wound is via history, physical examination, x-ray or MRI evaluation, and wound culture to isolate any bacteria infecting the wound. Circulatory evaluation of the limb is also performed.
Once diagnosis is completed, treatment may consist of debridement of any infected or damaged tissue, the use of a dressing to promote healing, the use of an antibiotic to treat the infection, and the referral to a vascular specialist to further treat circulatory problems in the leg. Severe infections may require hospitalization to help the infection heal quicker.
There are many skin substitutes that can be utilized on the wound without hospitalization to help promote healing.
Drs. Subik and Notari are Board Certified in Wound Healing, and are active in many professional Wound Care Associations. Both doctors are experienced in treating diabetic wounds of all severity.
Dr. Subik is the Director of the St. Mary’s Hospital Wound Care Center. Dr Notari is on staff at the Hackensack University Medical Center Wound Center, and The Wound Care Center at St Mary’s Hospital