November 15, 2018
With America’s diabetic population expected to nearly double by 2030, it is important that people understand the risks and know the facts associated with diabetic foot ulcers.
Approximately 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer. As many as 40 percent of people with a healed diabetic foot ulcer will develop a new ulcer within a year. An estimated 14 to 24 percent of people with foot ulcers will experience an amputation.
An amputation results in decreased quality of life, increased medical costs and a significantly higher risk of mortality. The five-year mortality rate following a lower extremity amputation is 50 percent.
Wound care specialist and Fort HealthCare Hyperbarics, Wound and Edema Center Medical Director, Robert Goldman, MD, says, “Fall can be an unwelcome time of the year if you have diabetes. Cool evening walks and hiking through those crunchy, fallen leaves aren’t as appealing when you have a foot ulcer.”
Goldman continues, “A diabetic foot ulcer develops because of nerve damage or injury in the feet (where the nerves are the longest in your entire body). If you lose feeling or sensation in your feet, small sores go unnoticed until a larger, more serious ulcer develops.”
Early detection and intervention can help to mitigate the possibility of limb loss. By following a few simple tips, you can prevent a wound from developing or can help one to heal.
Goldman adds, “In honor of November being Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to make sure you know how to keep your feet healthy.”
An estimated 30.3 million people in the United States (9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes, including 7.2 million who are unaware they are living with the disease. The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those aged 65 years or older.
In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes include diet, activity level, obesity and heredity. High blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune systems issues, nerve damage and infection may contribute to a diabetic foot ulcer.
The Fort HealthCare Hyperbarics, Wound and Edema Center, a member of the Healogics network, offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers.
Goldman indicates, “If you already have a foot ulcer that needs treatment, especially if it won’t heal on its own, talk to your physician or diabetes educator about possible therapies available at the Fort HealthCare Hyperbarics, Wound & Edema Center. Our staff has special wound treatments available that aren’t offered in a typical doctor’s office.”
The Center is located at 400 Doctors Court in Johnson Creek. A physician referral is not required, but is suggested. Center staff will keep your physician advised of all of your progress all along the way.
Headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, Healogics is the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. Healogics and its affiliated companies manage a network of Wound Care Centers® throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Healogics technology-enabled wound care model supports the critical connection between patients with chronic wounds and multi-disciplinary teams for continuous, collaborative, patient-centered care. For more information, please visit www.healogics.com.
To learn more, visit FortHealthCare.com/Wound.