If you have diabetes, your risk of a non-healing foot or leg wound can double or even triple. Not to mention, your chances of having a lower limb amputation can also increase. That’s because one of the most common complications of diabetes is poor circulation in the feet and legs, which makes healing from wounds difficult.
At Bloomfield Vein & Vascular, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Dr. Diego Hernandez, a board certified Vascular Surgeon and wound care specialist, and his team provide diabetic wound care to help promote healing and avoid serious complications. Innovations in technology mean the chances of resolving stubborn leg and foot wounds are now better than ever.
Why diabetes causes slow healing in the legs and feet
For most people, any injury triggers the immune system. The immune response immediately goes to work and releases monocytes in the blood. These monocytes travel to the site of damaged tissue and become macrophages. Macrophages work in two stages:
- First, they create an inflammatory response to overwhelm and eradicate bacteria and other pathogens.
- Second, they shift to a non-inflammatory state and begin making repairs, promoting healing and generating the growth of new tissue.
If you are diabetic, bad circulation can prevent blood from carrying monocytes to the site of the wound. Any macrophages that begin to work on the wound may end up stuck in the first stage and never move to the second.
This means the wound stays stuck in the inflammatory state and refuses to heal. The wound can then become deeper and wider, and eventually, an infection can set in. The end result for many people with diabetes is often amputation.
Diabetic wound care
Dr. Hernandez encourages anyone with diabetes who suffers a wound to a lower extremity to seek help as quickly as possible, especially if you have poor circulation in your legs and feet. Diabetes is silent as it affects your blood vessels. You might not know that you have a blood flow issue until it is too late. That is why it is so important to be evaluated right away if and when a wound develops. The worst thing you can do is wait!
When you visit Dr. Hernandez, he'll work to treat your wound. He'll bring the latest scientific advances to bear on the issue, leading to faster healing and reducing the risk of amputation. Your treatment may include:
- A comprehensive evaluation intended to create a customized wound care plan
- Advanced ultrasound and imaging technology to map your arteries, veins, and identify circulation issues that can be repaired
- Specialized wound dressings to manage drainage and promote healing
- Compression wraps and skin substitutes to help manage and heal complex wounds
- Minimally invasive procedures performed in an outpatient setting, that can restore flow and improve circulation to your legs and feet.
Are you worried about a small injury that can’t seem to heal? Contact our office at 248-218-0278 or book an appointment online today.