How We Treat Wound Care – And How It Makes a Difference
When something is important, you don’t want just anyone to take care of it.
For example, you would not advertise for a housesitting job on Craigslist and just take the first person who responds. You would want someone you know, who knows you, and whom you undoubtedly trust. This reduces your odds of being robbed blind, and you can also feel secure in knowing that this trusted individual would act in your best interest if something bad happened while you were away.
The same principle applies to your foot care!
If you live with diabetes, taking good care of your feet and paying attention to any potential issues cannot be stressed enough. It’s so important that you have a doctor you can trust, who knows and understands your needs, and is ready to help provide the exact care you need when you need it.
This is especially true if you have developed a diabetic wound.
Why Having a Dedicated Source for Wound Treatment Matters
A diabetic wound is not as simple as a standard wound. There are many factors surrounding a diabetic wound that need more attention and can make the injury much more challenging to treat.
The effects of diabetes on the body make the risks of infection and slow healing more likely and more dangerous than if diabetes was not a factor. When someone with diabetes has a wound in need of treatment, the approach must be thorough and careful.
At Northwood Foot & Ankle Center, we do not take the needs of our diabetic patients lightly. If you have a wound that is in need of treatment, we will take measures to get you in for an appointment that same day.
During your appointment, we will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine what factors might have an impact in treating your wound. These include:
- Whether the wound is infected. If there is already an infection, we will need to know what type of pathogen is present. This will involve taking a culture, and potentially an X-ray to determine whether the infection has affected the bone.
- Strength of circulation. Blood flow plays a very important role in supplying cells with the nutrients they need to repair and heal. Unfortunately, the effects of diabetes can restrict blood flow over time and interfere with healing. Knowing how strong circulation is to the area of a wound will help us determine what steps to take in treatment.
- Foot structure. The shape of your foot can play a vital role in injuries developing and healing. If too much pressure is being placed on a certain area of the foot, it may be more susceptible to sores than other areas. By offloading weight from these locations, present wounds can heal faster and future wounds may be prevented.
- Your current nutrition and fitness. Management of your blood sugar and overall health should never be ignored. Your fitness level can have a large effect on your healing capabilities.
All of the above factors are crucial to proper treatment and tracking them over time is even more beneficial to good care and preventative measures.
If we are your one source for both routine diabetic care and treatment for wounds, we will already have your medical history on hand and know the progression of your feet. Even with proper care, factors such as fitness, circulation, and foot structure can change over time. By having this information and history accessible to us, we can provide much more direct and efficient care than a doctor who is seeing you for the first time.
What You Can Expect from General Wound Care
Every patient who comes in for wound care may have a different situation which might require a different focus. However, every patient who comes in for wound care can be assured of several things.
- Wound debridement. We must make sure that all foreign and problematic materials are out of the wound. This includes dead tissue, infected tissue, and other matter. If a wound is taking time to heal, we may ask you to come in more frequently to ensure the wound is clean.
- At-home care. You will always have an element of self-responsibility in your care. This will include changing the dressing of your wound (or having someone do it for you). We will recommend or prescribe specific medications, ointments, bandages, or dressings that will work best for the location of your wound and any individual needs you might have.
Some cases might have additional elements as part of treatment, such as skin grafts or substitutes. We will be sure to explain how they work and anything you may need to know for proper care of them, if needed.
Have a Trusted Practice on Your Side
While there is an element of daily self-care and self-inspection in diabetic foot care, that does not mean you should wait until something goes wrong to see a podiatrist.
Having routine checkups at Northwood Foot & Ankle can start building the history that can detect and head off problems before they start. And, if a wound does develop and is in need of care, we’ll already have plenty of information to use for the fastest and best treatment.
Our offices in St. Joseph and Holland are happy to hear from you. Give us a call at (616) 393-8886 or fill out our online contact form.