For a diabetic patient, every wound is a health concern and requires immediate attention. That is because diabetic wounds heal more slowly and can worsen rapidly.
In fact, diabetes is the main cause for non-traumatic loss of a toe, foot, or leg. That’s because people who have diabetes can lose feeling in their feet. When that happens, it can be hard for them to tell when there is a problem, like a blister, sore, callus, or cut on the foot. Diabetes also can reduce the amount of blood flow to the feet which can slow healing time. These problems make it easy to get ulcers and infections that may lead to amputation.
You may know someone who has lost a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes. Unfortunately we see many diabetic wounds in our community. In fact, more than half of our Wound Center patients are diabetics who have delayed wound healing.
One of our goals at the Wound Care Center is to save limbs. To achieve that goal, patients susceptible to chronic wounds must recognize the seriousness of their risk and not delay treatment.
In the Wound Center, we use a full range of wound therapies including our state-of-the-art Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). In many cases, individualized HBOT treatments can effectively heal patients’ diabetic lower extremity wounds when caught early.
This is because healing wounds need oxygen. During HBO therapy 100 percent pure oxygen is sent to overtaxed, narrowed cells and tissues, strengthening them with the energy, oxygen and nutrients needed to maximize the healing of most troublesome diabetic wounds. In addition to diabetic wounds, HBOT is extremely effective in treating venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, soft tissue radiation injuries, infections that cause tissue death, burns, bone and bone marrow infections, and lymphedema.
We are fortunate to have in our community this level of technology in the Wound Center along with a highly skilled team of doctors, nurses, and technicians who are specially trained to treat advanced wounds. Fisher-Titus offers the only in-house hyperbarics program between Toledo and Elyria. HBOT is approved by Medicare and most other insurances.
We understand that people with diabetes have a lot to manage: checking blood sugar, eating healthy, being active, and scheduling regular doctor appointments. Although feet may be out-of-sight out-of-mind, remember that proactive foot care can control the chance of diabetes-related foot problems.
If you or a loved one does develop a wound that does not heal after two weeks, don’t delay. See your physician or schedule an appointment at the Center for Wound Healing by call 419-660-6980.
Marc D. Dolce, DPM, FACFAS, is Medical Co-Director of the Fisher-Titus Center for Wound Healing. He is board certified by American Board of Podiatric Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr. Dolce’s practice, Northern Ohio Foot & Ankle Specialists, has served the area since 2001 with offices in Norwalk, New London, Bellevue, Wakeman, and Sandusky.