Wound Care for Foot and Ankle Cases
Diabetes is on the rise and now affects more than 26 million Americans and more than 366 million people worldwide.[i],[ii] In the United States, diabetes is an epidemic that continues to take a large toll. In the U.S. alone, each day, 5,000 patients get a diagnosis of diabetes, 280 lose their lives and 180 lose their limbs, costing $670 million to the healthcare system.[iii],[iv] Diabetic foot ulcerations are increasingly common and can present as very complicated cases.
Diabetes interferes with the body’s ability to heal, so even the smallest foot wounds can become infected, spread to the bone, and lead to an amputation. Poor circulation and numb feet, also common in people with diabetes, make the situation worse. Time is of the essence when it comes to tissue loss and healing; speedy intervention in patients with diabetic foot disorders may preserve limbs and restore function.[v] Early diagnosis and management are essential.
Instituting a structured diabetic foot program can yield a 75 percent reduction in amputation rates.[vi] Interestingly, there can be huge healthcare savings generated by working with a specialized podiatrist like Dr. Amin; with each $1 invested in care by a podiatrist for people with diabetes, there is a resulting $27 to $51 of healthcare savings.[vii] Thus, investing in prevention and early treatment is not only critical for avoiding limb amputations, but also astronomically cost-effective.
Dr. Amin is an expert at treating wounds to avoid amputation. She is extremely skilled at addressing wounds, especially those exacerbated by diabetes. Dr. Amin offers a specialized level of care that is typically not available in the average podiatrist’s office. Her focus is on getting to the root problem and preventing recurrence.
Foot osteomyelitis, an infection in the bone, is extremely common and may account for one in every thousand hospitalizations. National data shows that 8.5 percent of patients hospitalized for foot osteomyelitis had a leg or foot amputated, and 23 percent had a toe amputated.[viii]
Prevention is critical. Among the steps recommended for all people with diabetes are to examine their feet daily for any signs of redness, blisters, cuts or sores; to wear well-fitting shoes and protect their feet from injury; and to remove their shoes and socks at each diabetes-related checkup so feet can be examined.
At Corona Foot and Ankle Group, Dr. Amin can conduct these examinations and should a wound present, she can offer an individualized treatment plan to address the wound immediately to avoid sometimes life-threatening complications. At Corona Foot and Ankle Group we believe in the significance of patient education. We want all of our patients to understand the importance of a comprehensive, daily routine to avoid a wound going unnoticed and untreated.
Remember, time is of the essence. If you have a wound or if you have diabetes and want to learn about specific preventative measures you can take to avoid complicating wound injuries, make an appointment now with the knowledgeable staff at Corona Foot and Ankle.
[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011.
[ii] International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, Fifth Edition, 2012.
[iii] International Diabetes Federation. Available at http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/facts-figures
[iv] Armstrong DG. Diabetes facts and figures. Available at http://diabeticfootonline.blogspot.com/p/diabetic-foot-facts-and-figures.html
[v] Belczyk, Rogers LC, Andros G. The diabetic foot. In (Moore WA, ed.): Vascular And Endovascular Surgery: A Comprehensive Review, Eighth Edition. Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2013, pp. 59.
[vi] Weck M, Slesaczeck T, Paetzold H, et al. Structured health care for subjects with diabetic foot ulcers results in a reduction of major amputation rates. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2013
[vii] Carls GS, Gibson TB, Driver VR, et al. The economic value of specialized lower-extremity medical care by podiatric physicians in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2011; 101(2):93-115.