Diabetes is a serious medical condition, with one of its most dangerous side effects being diabetic foot ulcers. If left untreated, diabetic foot ulcers can cause severe infections that lead to hospitalization or even amputation. That is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible from a diabetes foot care podiatrist so you can prevent complications and improve your quality of life.
Complications of an Untreated Diabetic Foot Ulcer
If you have a condition such as diabetes, it is essential to be aware of any changes in your feet, such as redness, swelling, blisters, or wounds that do not heal after two weeks. You should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of these signs. Early detection and treatment are critical for preventing further complications from developing.
If left untreated, a diabetic foot ulcer can lead to other complications such as:
- Infection. One of the most serious complications of an untreated diabetic foot ulcer is the risk of infection. Without proper treatment, bacteria can easily enter a wound and cause it to become infected. If the infection cannot be controlled, it can spread to surrounding tissue or bone.
- Amputation. Another potential complication of an untreated diabetic foot ulcer is amputation. If an infection occurs in the wound, it can spread quickly throughout the body and cause serious health problems such as sepsis or gangrene. If this happens, doctors may have no choice but to amputate the affected area to prevent further infection and damage. Additionally, if circulation in the affected area becomes too poor due to diabetes-related nerve damage, amputation may be necessary to prevent further tissue death and necrosis.
The Importance of Seeing a Podiatrist Early
Seeing a podiatrist early on can help prevent infection and decrease the total medical costs associated with treating the ulcer or infection. A podiatrist will provide you with comprehensive care tailored specifically to your needs.
A treatment plan from a podiatry clinic such as Fixing Feet Institute may include regular wound care visits and treatments such as the following:
- Cleaning the wound daily and keeping it covered
- Debriding the wound to remove any dead skin and tissue
- Changing the dressings regularly
- Offloading to take pressure off the affected area
- Taking antibiotics to treat infection
- Using advanced treatment such as MLS laser therapy to promote healing
- Applying medication to the ulcer
- Taking pain management medications
- Keeping blood glucose levels under control
Additionally, a podiatrist may suggest making simple lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and maintaining good nutrition to improve blood flow and speed up healing time. Your doctor will also prescribe regular check-ups to monitor progress and ensure the wound does not worsen over time. In severe cases, hospitalization may be needed.
All of these treatments are designed to improve circulation in your feet and reduce the risk of further complications such as amputation or long-term disability due to infection. The sooner you treat a diabetic foot ulcer—the less likely complications will occur.
Each patient’s healing time is different and will depend on various factors, such as the size and location of the ulcer, blood glucose levels, other medical conditions, and the type of treatment being used. Foot ulcers can take weeks to months to heal fully.
What to Expect When Scheduling an Appointment With Fixing Feet Institute
At Fixing Feet Institute in Arizona, our team provides comprehensive care for patients with diabetes-related conditions, including diabetic foot ulcers. Our experienced podiatrists will develop personalized treatment plans based on your individual needs and goals. We understand that managing diabetes is not easy, so we do everything we can to make your experience with us comfortable and stress-free from start to finish.
To schedule an appointment with our doctors at Fixing Feet Institute, contact our office by calling us at 623-584-5556 or fill out our contact form online, and one of our caring staff members will be in touch.