The Next Step Difference: Foot Ulcers


 


Why you should choose Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic if you have a foot ulcer.

Our podiatrists thoroughly address the cause of the wound.

Most people in healthcare focus on the ulcer-- the wound.  Treating the wound alone is simply addressing a skin disease. If you think about it, you have skin all over your foot.  What’s the difference between the skin where there is no ulcer versus the skin where there is an ulcer? The answer is, “there really is none”.  Generally, the only difference is excess foot pressure or shear forces. Clearly the wound needs addressed.  But failure to address the pressure or shear force that caused the ulcer in the first place is shortsighted.

 

A word about “Circulation” causing foot ulcers:  

Most people are under the impression that diabetic foot wounds are all caused by lack of circulation.  The truth is that this is not the case.  According to medical literature, only about 30% of diabetic foot wounds are caused by poor circulation.  The remaining 70% are caused by the combination of numbness and deformity or muscle imbalance that causes excessive sheer or pressure forces.  The numbness makes it impossible for the patient to feel the foot as it is being injured. That’s where we come in. We are experts in getting rid of the shear forces or pressure problem so the ulcer can heal. For those people who do have circulation problems, we can make that diagnosis with our in-office vascular testing and get you to help you need as well.

Our patients have a lower recurrence rate with diabetic foot ulcers.

Because most practitioners never address the cause of the problem (excessive pressure or friction) the recurrence rate of diabetic foot ulcers is anywhere from 30-70% in as little as 1 year.  This is true with or without special diabetic shoes.

Most doctors focus on the wound only.  While it is true that the wound needs special care in order to heal, the wound is really not the problem!!!!  The main problem is the abnormal localized pressure that caused the wound in the first place. That’s the real problem. The foot ulcer is just a manifestation of that abnormal pressure.  If you have a foot ulcer and nothing is done to address the shear forces or pressure forces that caused the ulcer in the first place, the risk of you having another foot ulcer, or never healing the ulcer in the first place, is very high.  That’s why some people have foot ulcers for years. Nothing is done to address the cause of the ulcer.   So simply healing an ulcer is generally not satisfactory in the long run for most patients with diabetes.

 

Our podiatrists use advanced technologies to heal your diabetic ulcer and more importantly solve the CAUSE OF THE FOOT ULCER. 

Advanced wound care modalities:  If needed, we use collagen matrix, amnion extracts, growth factors, and laser therapy to speed healing.  Most wound care clinics offer similar treatments but we go one step further…...

Surgical offloading: This is one of the most powerful tools in healing foot ulcers and keeping them healed.  We perform cutting edge minimally invasive procedures and tendon balancing that have consistently shown significantly lower recurrence rates, and more rapid healing than treating the wound by itself.  With most of these procedures the patient walks immediately and the surgery can be incorporated into the normal recovery of treating the wound. 

We have seen patients that have had foot ulcers for as long as 7 years COMPLETELY HEAL IN JUST A FEW MONTHS.  Some of these patients have undergone multiple surgeries (usually amputations of some type or another) trying to heal the wound.  After appropriate pressure balancing procedures, these wounds have healed within a few months.  

Patient education: We spend time with patients explaining the cause of the foot ulcer and give them the tools that they can use at home to keep pressure off the wound.

We can’t help everybody.  But we can help almost everybody.  So if you have a diabetic foot ulcer please give us a call and let us help you get healed and stay healed.

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