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Wound Care and Limb Salvage

wound care

For those with diabetes, early prevention and prompt treatment for wounds can be crucial to maintaining healthy feet. Unfortunately for those with diabetes, minor wounds have the ability to turn into serious ulcers if left uncared for. Simply walking in new or tight-fitting shoes can be enough to form a serious foot condition. Diabetes affects the nerves of the feet, sometimes leaving them with little or no feeling. If a wound therefore develops and isn’t felt, it may be hard for that person to recognize they need care.

To avoid ignoring wounds and to help prevent the development of serious foot conditions, it’s advised to check your feet daily for any abnormalities. It can also be beneficial to wear comfortable shoes with extra support. Avoiding high heels and other tight-fitting shoes may help in preventing certain foot complications. You should also be careful in how you trim your toenails. Avoid cutting at an angle and digging into the sides of skin surrounding the nail. Lastly, be sure to wash and dry your feet thoroughly to maintain proper hygiene for your feet.

For information on wound care and wound prevention, we recommend you speak with a podiatrist for professional care and advice.

Limb salvage is a procedure that involves saving a lower extremity from amputation. In podiatry, limb amputation often occurs as a result of diabetes. The fundamental goal of limb salvage is to restore and maintain stability and movement of the affected lower extremity.

The procedure typically involves removing the diseased tissue and a small portion of the surrounding healthy tissue, as well as the removal of any affected bone if necessary. If bone is removed it is then replaced with prostheses, or synthetic metal rods or plates, or grafts from either the patient’s body or a donor. Limb salvage is typically the preferred choice of procedure over amputation, as the procedure preserves both the patient’s appearance and allows for the greatest possible degree of function in the affected limb.

Upon diagnosis and determining that limb salvage is the appropriate treatment, the podiatrist may enlist the help of a physical and/or occupational therapist to prepare the patient for surgery by introducing various muscle-strengthening, walking, and range of motion exercises. Such exercises may be continued as rehabilitation post-procedure.

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