There’s no such thing as a “minor foot cut” if you have diabetes, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, or any of a number of other conditions with similar medical effects. Scrapes, blisters, abrasions, and other seemingly innocuous skin issues can linger, refuse to heal, and ultimately become infected. That infection can then spread, killing once-healthy soft tissue and potentially even invading the bloodstream and bone. Because many people with diabetes or uncontrolled sugar in their diet also suffer from neuropathy, they may not even feel any pain or notice a problem until it’s too late.
At Parker Foot and Ankle, we place a high priority on keeping your feet safe from the damaging effects of ulcers. That is why we provide a number of advanced procedure for both prevention and treatment of diabetic wounds.
If you have diabetes, a metabolic syndrome, or any history of foot ulcers, it’s imperative that you take the necessary steps to avoid a recurrence. Our office can help you discover your risk factors and prevent future damage. For example:
- Change your diet. Whether you have diabetes or not, a diet high in sugar will have a toxic effect on nerve health throughout the body. Eating better can halt and sometimes even significantly improve nerve function, which helps you maintain your body’s “warning system” for injury that could become infected.
- Restore your nerves. No doctor in Houston is better equipped to treat, or even reverse, the crippling effects of nerve damage. Our breakthrough program combines both traditional and advanced treatments like Neurogenx and laser therapy, to give you the best possible chance of solving your neuropathy pain and numbness for good.
- Examine your feet every day. Since you can’t always feel the damage, make a habit of performing a full, 5-minute foot exam on yourself each day. This will help you identify problems before they have a chance to become severe.
- Wear comfortable shoes at all times, even indoors. This protects your feet from accidental injuries. People with a history of ulcers may especially benefit from specialized diabetic socks and shoes.
- Accommodate or fix any structural issues with your feet. Problems such as bunions, flat feet, misaligned metatarsal bones, and others can place increased pressure on certain areas of your skin. Our office can provide custom orthotics to accommodate foot abnormalities, or perform a reconstructive surgery to fully correct the structural issue.
Healing Ulcers and Wounds
If you develop a wound, it is critical to take control of the situation as early as possible—ideally before any infection sets in, and certainly before than infection has a chance to deepen and spread. Initial treatment for foot ulcers includes off-loading the weight from the foot, cleaning the wound of dead skin and foreign particles (debridement), providing necessary medications, and bandaging the wound securely.
We are proud to offer additional, advanced treatments to help you deal with the pain of an ulcer and protect the wound site as it heals. This includes:
- Amniotic allograft. This procedure uses safely donated placental tissue (no harm to mother or child) for both protection and regeneration. In sheet form, it can be applied to open wounds to keep bacteria and other infecting agents out, and the growth factors in tissue helps tissues regenerate more quickly.
- Laser therapy. Amniotic allograft is often combined with laser treatments to both reduce pain and boost the overall effectiveness of the treatment. The laser helps increase blood circulation to the site of the wound, so your body can deliver oxygen and nutrients faster and increase the rate of tissue repair.
Diabetic wounds and foot ulcers that won’t heal, unfortunately, far too frequently represent a critical turning point—or even end stage—in a struggle with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, neuropathy, and poor health. Many people who suffer foot wounds ultimately are forced to amputate part or all of a foot, which brings with it a severe and permanent drop in the quality of life.At Parker Foot and & Ankle, we’re committed to helping you avoid that fate. But the sooner you seek treatment, the better we can help you. To schedule your appointment with us in Houston, call (281) 497-2850 today.