Know the Facts:
- 25.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States
- 1.9 million cases diagnosed annually
- 15% of these cases will develop a foot ulcer during their lifetime.
- 65,700 of these cases receive amputations annually.
- 60% of all lower extremity amputations are linked to underlying diabetes
Keys to Successful Management:
- Early recognition
- Early Intervention
- Identification and treatment of infection
- Surgical debridement
- Maintaining wound dressings
- Aggressive glycemic control
- Nutritional support
- Ensure adequate blood flow
While treatment of established wounds in patients with diabetes is a major emphasis of our program, reducing the overall risk of lower extremity amputations is equally important. An aggressive and coordinated team approach can save limbs, improve function and enhance quality of life.
Always Make Time For Foot Care
Many people don't take time out of their busy schedules to stop and look at their feet. "Feet are commonly one of the most underappreciated parts of the body," states Dr. Salimi A. Wirjosemito, Medical Director of Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. "Most of the time, we only stop to pay attention to them when they ache, you have a blister, or especially, when you have a nagging wound that won't heal."
Dr. Wirjosemito suggests that those with diabetes schedule a complete foot exam with your health care provider each year. Also call the physician if you have cuts or breaks in the skin, have an ingrown nail, or your foot changes color, shape or is painful.
There are many things that you can do to keep your feet healthy every day:
- Check your feet every day for red spots, cuts, swelling and blisters
- Keep your feet moving - Being active is an important part of your overall health
- Wash your feet every day
- Keep your feet soft and smooth by rubbing lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet
- Wear shoes and socks at all times to protect your feet
- Put your feet up - keep blood flowing to your feet by inclining your feet when sitting, wiggling your toes and moving your ankles
- Don't cross your legs for long periods of time
- Don't smoke
If you are experiencing a wound that you are concerned about or is not healing properly, you may need the assistance of a wound care specialist. Call Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at 610.738.2590.