The Dangers of Diabetic Wounds
Diabetic ulcers, also known as diabetic wounds, are unwelcome occurrences that affect approximately 15 percent of all patients with the disease. Poor management of blood glucose levels, combined with slow circulation and damaged nerves, can turn even minor cuts and scrapes on your feet into wounds that just won’t seem to heal.
It can be tempting to underestimate just how serious a diabetic wound really is. A lot of that has to do with pain, or more specifically, the lack of it. Since such ulcers are most common in people who have experienced significant nerve damage (neuropathy) in their lower limbs, you may not really feel much of anything at all. That’s part of why these wounds form in the first place: you never notice a problem until it has a chance to grow and get worse.
But a lack of pain does not mean a lack of a problem. Wounds that won’t close remain exposed to debris, bacteria, and other dangerous agents that can lead to a nasty infection. This can turn a pressing concern into a severe risk.
Diabetic wounds are by far the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States, representing more than half the total—or roughly 75,000 cases per year. Most of the time, it starts with a diabetic wound that doesn’t get proper treatment. When the infection is allowed to progress unchecked, it can spread to other areas and even to bone, killing tissue and in some cases causing irreparable damage. We will do everything possible to save your toes, feet, or limbs, but unfortunately in severe cases an amputation may be the only way to prevent an ongoing infection before it becomes fatal.
Our goal is not to frighten you, of course, but we want to make sure you understand the danger. Check your feet daily for any signs of trouble, and if you spot an emerging ulcer, don’t take the risk—see us right away for immediate treatment. To schedule an appointment with the Kansas Foot Center, please fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (866) 222-5177.