One of the most challenging conditions I see as a podiatrist in Houston are diabetic foot ulcers. Don't get me wrong...they are one of my favorite things to treat, but challenging nevertheless. Why is it my favorite? Because treating and healing a diabetic foot ulcer is directly related to preventing an amputation.
November is American Diabetes Month and I want to highlight some of the successes I've had helping to keep people with diabetes walking on their feet with ALL 10 toes attached. Needless to say, they are not all successes. Just last month a severe circulation problem claimed the great toe of one of my diabetic patients. Despite the best efforts, things like this are sometimes unavoidable.
Then you have cases like a current patient I'm treating. He has had a wound for over one year on foot that is severely deformed by Charcot changes. This is when the nerves cause the arch to collapse, putting pressure on the midfoot which ultimately can develop a diabetic wound. He has been treated by another podiatrist who put him in a specialized custom boot called a CROW walker, which is fantastic, but kept using the same wound dressing over and over despite the wound not getting much smaller.
For wounds that have stalled with conventional treatment, I use a specialized advanced bioengineered skin substitute called Dermagraft. This wound dressing has been proven effective to promote healing in diabetic foot ulcers. In the past, these dressings were used as a last resort. Now it is prudent to switch to an advanced biological dressing if the wound has not closed significantly in 4 weeks.
If you have a diabetic foot ulcer, it is crucial that you get it checked as quickly as possible. Contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX for an immediate evaluation.