Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.
Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.
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What's the most advanced way to heal a diabetic ulcer?
There are numerous modalities used to heal diabetic foot ulcers. Even so, it continues to amaze me that patients have been told to use the same cream or gel for months or years without seeing any improvement in the wound. In my Houston wound care practice I use a consistent benchmark to dictate my treatment of your diabetic foot ulcer. This means if conventional measures don't heal a diabetic foot ulcer at least 50% in 4 weeks, I change the treatment to get the wound moving again.
An advanced therapy that I use to treat your diabetic foot ulcer that hasn't progressed is to use a dressing made from living tissue. These are known as advanced biological dressings. The two that I use in my Houston podiatry practice are Dermagraft and Apligraf. These dressings are applied in the office and form a matrix of living cells to influence wound healing. These treatments are covered by Medicare and private insurance.
Another advanced therapy for stagnated wounds is the use of Microvas therapy. This non-invasive in-office procedure helps to stimulate blood flow to your diabetic foot ulcer. With the increase in blood flow comes resources to help your body heal your wound.
If you have a diabetic foot ulcer, or any wound, that has not healed if a reasonable period of time, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for an evaluation and comprehensive treatment plan.
What's the best way to heal a diabetic ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is a common and dangerous complication of diabetes. An ulcer forms because of increased pressure beneath the foot. This excessive pressure leads to a breakdown of the skin and forms an ulcer. While there are all types of advanced wound dressings, which serve an important purpose, none are as important as controlling the pressure that has caused the ulcer to form in the first place.
It makes sense if you think about it. The pressure beneath the diabetic foot ulcer is the cause and the wound is the result of that pressure. To successfully treat the ulcer, we need to heal the wound while simultaneously controlling the pressure. Unfortunately this important element of wound care is overlooked by many practitioners and resisted by many patients.
Offloading a wound properly requires some inconvenience and disruption in your lifestyle. Different doctors use different methods to remove the pressure from a wound. Some apply casts, others use a cast boot, still others use a specialized healing shoe. There are even times where surgery may be needed to remove the pressure from the ulcer site. Adding padding to your existing shoes, or even using diabetic shoes, is not sufficient to keep the pressure away.
After your diabetic foot ulcer is healed, you are not completely out of the woods. It is vital to continue to control the pressure to prevent the wound from returning. This is where a diabetic shoe is appropriate.
Of course, the best way to treat a diabetic foot ulcer is to prevent one from forming. Every person with diabetes should be seen regularly by a podiatrist in Houston to identify and manage risk factors and ensure you are wearing the proper shoes. If you or someone you love has diabetes, especially if you are concerned about a diabetic foot ulcer forming or not healing, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. Just say "I'm diabetic and have a problem" and we'll get you in right away.
Will an diabetic foot ulcer that's been there for a long time ever heal?
So you have a diabetic foot ulcer that just won't heal. Or maybe it has healed but keeps coming back. I'm sure you are frustrated and feel that it may never heal. In some cases you may have dressed your wound with the same medication for months...even years!
A diabetic foot ulcer should show continuous progress towards healing. If your wound stops healing, there must be a reason why or a change in therapy is needed. First of all, no ulcer will heal if there is not a sufficient blood supply to the foot. Poor circulation is common in people with diabetes. At our Houston podiatry practice, we use a non-invasive, painless system for evaluating your circulation called PADnet. Everyone with diabetes should be evaluated for circulation. Restoring circulation will help your wound to heal.
The underlying cause of your diabetic foot ulcer is pressure. This same pressure that initially caused the wound will prevent it from healing. For this reason, management of your ulcer must include the relief of pressure. The is achieved by casting, wearing a surgical boot, or surgical shoe. If you are not wearing something to manage these pressures, you should ask your doctor or get a second opinion from another podiatrist in Houston.
Finally, not all dressings for a diabetic foot ulcer are the same. Some should be used with a dry wound, others for a draining wound, and still others for a wound that is infected. There are dressings that use living cells and growth factors to speed healing. If the dressing you are using hasn't made your wound close after 4 weeks, ask if another type of dressing may be better.
If you feel that your diabetic foot ulcer is not healing, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists and schedule and appointment with Houston diabetic ulcer specialist Dr. Andrew Schneider.
When should a diabetic see a podiatrist?
Every person with diabetes should have a relationship with a Houston diabetic foot specialist. This means you, whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Even if you don't have a problem or don't think you're currently at risk, it is important to do.
When you are first assessed by your podiatrist, you will have a comprehensive examination, including an assessment of your circulation and nerve function. Both of these issues are significant risk factors that has the potential to put your foot and leg at risk. Having a baseline study allows us to catch any problems early and treat them while they are manageable. You'd be surprised how many issues we find on this initial screening even when there are no symptoms.
You should not wait for a diabetic foot problem to arise before visiting a Houston podiatrist. Prevention is the best medicine! Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider. Together we will ensure your feet stay with you for a lifetime.
I'm worried that my socks are cutting off my circulation, what do I do?
Socks are made in all shapes and sizes. The problem that you may face is a tight band around the calf. This is especially true if you are diabetic or just generally have poor circulation. Many socks are made this way to prevent them from slipping down...very important in a sock!
The tight band at the top of socks can, indeed, effect your circulation. Compressing your calf can close off arteries providing blood to the foot. This can lead to intense pain after walking for a period of time and only alleviated by rest. It also can increase the possibility of complications such as skin ulcers.
To prevent problems stemming from wearing the wrong socks, it is important that you choose socks that will not cause you problems. There are many brands of diabetic socks that provide a looser fit around the calf. If you do need some compression because of swelling or vein insufficiency, compression socks that provide uniform compression through the calf are available.
Both diabetic socks, as well as compression socks, are readily available. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider carries both at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. If you are unsure if your current socks are right for you, contact our office for an immediate appointment.
Is there a cure for diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that is reaching epidemic proportions, especially in Houston as waistlines continue to grow. Despite millions of dollars of international research, the still is no cure for diabetes. There are many ways to control diabetes to keep the impact on your life to a minimum.
First and foremost, you need to take control of your blood sugar by measuring it daily and avoiding foods that will raise it. So many people assume that because they take medicine or use insulin, diet is unimportant. This is completely untrue. When your blood sugar is elevated, it increases the chances of Peripheral Arterial Disease and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
It is vital that you take care of your feet. You should perform a daily foot inspection to ensure there are no complications. Don't rely on feeling pain since you may already have some measure of neuropathy that numbs your sensation of pain. You should establish a relationship with a podiatrist to provide regular examinations and help you keep your feet. If you live in the Houston area, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists and schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider. If you think you may have a diabetic foot ulcer or other foot problem, be sure to tell us so we can get you in immediately
Do all diabetics have poor circulation?
Poor circulation, or Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), is a common complication of diabetes. PAD also effects millions of people without diabetes, especially those who smoke. Reduced circulation puts the limb at risk for gangrene which can lead to amputation. PAD is a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston uses state of the art technology to detect PAD early. This enables you to get treatment before any serious complications occur. PADnet is a painless, non-invasive examination that detects a reduction in the circulation in your legs. This information will be shared with your internist and cardiologist so we can together decide on a course of action.
PAD has become known as a silent killer. The presence of PAD dramatically increases your chances of developing a heart attack or stroke. The best time for you to be checked is before a foot or ankle problem, such as a foot ulcer or gangrene, occurs. Schedule an appointment to have this painless, 30 minute test performed at our Houston podiatry office.
My feet are deformed from diabetes, how do I stop it from getting worse?
Diabetes can progress to form a significant deformity of your foot and ankle. This foot deformity is an advanced complication of diabetes and must be treated very seriously. These changes are known as Charcot foot and you will notice your arch dropping with bones causing pressure in the middle of your foot. Without proper treatment, the foot will continue to collapse and put you at risk for a diabetic foot ulcer to form.
Charcot foot needs to be treated quickly and aggressively. At first you will likely be immobilized to stop the progress of the collapse of your foot. Afterwards, you would be placed in a therapeutic shoe with an insole designed to manage the pressure beneath the foot. If your foot is already too deformed to be in a diabetic shoe, a custom shoe may be needed. To add additional support, I may recommend a custom ankle-foot orthotic to be worn in the shoe. In particularly severe cases, I may recommend surgery to reconstruct the foot.
If you have diabetes and are noticing your foot changing, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. When you call, mention that you are diabetic and think you have a problem. My team will get you in ASAP!
Why does chemotherapy affect my toenails?
If you have been treated with chemotherapy, you know the many effects it has on your body. Most commonly you may have experienced hair loss. Nails are similar in composition to hair and are also often effected by chemotherapy.
Some forms of chemotherapy can cause your nails to fall off. When this happens it is usually without pain. Other times the nails become significantly weakened. Both of these, along with the suppression of your immune system, can lead to a fungal infection of your nails. While you can treat this infection with topical medication, such as Formula 3, during chemotherapy, the use of other treatments should not be pursued until chemotherapy is finished and you recover your strength.
At Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX, Dr. Andrew Schneider treats all conditions of the foot and ankle related to chemotherapy. Contact our Houston podiatry office for treatment you can be confident will be the right one during your chemotherapy treatment.
Can I get acrylic nails put on my toenails?
I know that you enjoy nice looking nails. Acrylic nails are very commonly used on the fingernails. Some salons will apply them to your toenails as well. This can be very problematic and has the potential to cause pain and infection.
Acrylic nails are hard and inflexible. While this isn't an issue on your fingernails, it poses a problem when you put your feet into a shoe. Your toenails flex as you walk and as you contact a shoe. Without this flexibility, the nail would drive into your toe and mimic an ingrown toenail. The pressure, even for a short time, can cause a severe toe infection to form.
At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, we offer a solution. We use an innovative technology known as Keryflex. Keryflex is is a keratin resin applied over your own toenail to provide a healthy appearing nail. Unlike acrylics, it is flexible and will not cause the same problems as acrylic nails. You can use nail polish and nail polish remover with the Keryflex toenail, just as you would a regular toenail. By the way, men often come in to have a Keryflex toenail applied to damaged or fungal nails during sandal season.