Of the approximately 29 million people living with diabetes in the United States, about 15 percent will develop an ulcer of the lower extremity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Left untreated, these ulcers can impair quality of life and may lead to amputation. Early detection and intervention helps mitigate the possibility of limb loss.
“Diabetic foot ulcers should be treated with urgency,” says Marilee McBoyle, MD, medical director for Via Christi Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Therapy. Studies have shown that foot ulcers in patients with diabetes contribute to more than 70 percent of lower extremity amputations in the United States.
On Thursday, Dr. McBoyle and Tanya Winter, program director of the wound care center, will appear on Via Christi Life Matters for a live, online chat where viewers can submit questions about wound care, including diabetic ulcers and hyperbaric treatment. The 30-minute segment will be start at noon. Watch it here, and submit your question.
Diabetic foot and leg ulcers are the most common conditions treated by Via Christi’s wound care center, making up approximately 23 percent of all patients seen. In recognition of American Diabetes Month in November, Winter visited more than 80 local physicians to educate them and their staff on how to identify diabetic patients with or at risk of having ulcers of the lower extremity and the importance of getting treatment.
Because of the complexity of the disease, diabetic foot wounds require more than simple at-home remedies. Via Christi’s wound care center offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers, including hyperbaric therapy if patients qualify, and care by Ascension Medical Group podiatrist Miki Matsuda, MD.
Ascension Via Christi Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Therapy brings together doctors, nurses and therapists with specialized training in treating chronic wounds. Caring staff can create a custom treatment plan for you to stimulate new healing and help you move forward to a healthier life.
How do I know if I need specialized wound care?
If you have a wound that hasn't healed in 30 days, speak with your doctor. He can examine your wound and decide if specialized wound care is a good choice for you. Wound care can helpful for such conditions as:
- Ulcers (diabetic, neuropathic, pressure, ischemic)
- Venous insufficiency (impairment of blood flow through veins)
- Traumatic wounds
- Surgical wounds
- Vasculitis (inflammation in the blood vessels)
- Peristomal skin irritations
- Other chronic wounds