Wound Care

elderly feet

Wounds of the lower extremity may occur as a result of trauma. In a healthy individual, these clean wounds should heal uneventfully. Any contaminated wounds need to be thoroughly cleaned to prevent infection. Antibiotics are given as part of the treatment.

Wounds in systemic disease of the lower extremity present as ulcerations that require more attention for healing. Here at Elite Foot & Ankle, Dr. Cheng treats and manages arterial ulcers, venous insufficiency ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers.

Attention is made that the patient has adequate blood flow to both feet for healing of these ulcerations. Vascular testing and consultation with the vascular specialist about the patient’s condition will be performed. Ulcerations may be sharply debrided to remove any nonviable tissue and to stimulate good healthy bleeding at the wound edges.  Arterial ulcerations of the lower extremity will require restoration of good blood flow and intervention by the vascular surgeon for good healing prior to application of wound care dressings. Venous insufficiency ulcerations require good compression and reduction of swelling to the lower extremity for them to heal.  Diabetic foot ulcerations will require offloading of weight-bearing areas and possibly surgery to correct deformities that encourages formation of ulcerations. 

Diabetic ulcerations are at risk of developing deeper soft tissue and bone infections. If this happens, surgery would be required at the hospital to drain and to remove the infected soft tissue and bone. If infection to the bone (osteomyelitis) is severe enough, amputation of the anatomic part is warranted.  The patient will then spend a few overnights at the hospital for IV antibiotics and medical management. 

Obviously the goal of wound care is to prevent any need for amputations and to heal uneventfully. This would require a team approach to make sure an environment for optimal healing of the wounds is created. Wound care at Elite Foot & Ankle will incorporate the latest technology in wound dressings and biologics.  

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