People with diabetes lose what we call "the gift of pain." They can't feel injuries due to nerve damage caused by their diabetes. Diabetic foot wounds, left untreated, can lead to amputation, and amputations decrease both quality of life and your ability to stay active-meaning they're also a threat to your quantity of life.
Of course, prevention is the best course of action, and prevention is all about timing. So much of proper care has to do with getting out in front of the problem. The longer you wait with an open wound, the greater the risk of it not healing and leading to an amputation.
A simple, daily foot exam can identify minor injuries, sores, blisters, or other changes before they become a serious problem. Make that exam part of your routine, like combing your hair or brushing your teeth.
If you do experience a foot wound of any kind, you need to see your podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist will evaluate the wound for size, depth, and location. Your physician will also assess the blood flow to your feet. If your feet aren't getting adequate blood flow, the tissue is not
getting enough oxygen and won't heal well. Your podiatrist may refer you to see a vascular surgeon or other specialist. Remember: health care is a team sport, and you're team captain.
Once we're confident your feet have proper blood flow and we've controlled any present infections, we begin the work of healing the wound. It's not what you put on the wound that heals it. It's what you take off the wound. So, we take off any pressure you may be putting on the wound with special kinds of bracing, and we take off what is not viable-meaning we clean up the wound. The best surgery is the one we never have to do. But, if we do have to remove some dead tissue to spare your limb, we will do so.