Wounds in the foot can form for number of reasons. Complications in healing may be occur depending on a patient’s health, and co-existing systemic illnesses. At our clinics we commonly see Diabetic Foot Ulcers. It should be noted – although these are the most common, they are not the only ulcers we see. Ulcers can be due to trauma, venous insufficiency, arterial insufficiency, neuropathy (nerve insufficiency) or a combination of the fore-mentioned. An open ulcer is always a concern as any open skin can lead to impending infection. The increased risk of infection in combination with systemic problems (eg. decreased blood flow) leaves the patient at increased risk. Wounds in an immune-compromised patient can take months if not years to heal. In some cases wounds may not heal, and foot wounds can lead to amputation or in extreme cases loss of life.
The Chiropodist at Tri-City Foot Clinic will be able to determine the cause of the ulcer. The Chiropodist will provide the necessary dressing changes and debridement of necrotic/unviable tissue. They will also properly redistribute pressure. Often a multidisciplinary approach is used the healing of wounds including involvement from: The Chiropodist, Family Doctor, Nurse and Personal Support Workers. The Chiropodist will work alongside any other persons involved in a patient’s treatment plan of a wound – to make sure you are receiving the best treatment.
The patients general health will determine how easily a wound on the foot will heal. A young healthy child with a wound will heal quite fast – (its recommended you see Chiropodist/ Foot Specialist if you have any concerns or see any delays in healing). Any individual who is immuno-compromised or suffers from decreased health will see a delay in healing. If left untreated these wounds may not heal and will progressively worsen. The normal stages of healing are inflammatory, proliferative and maturation/remodelling a wound that isn’t healing may become stuck in any of these stages. As stated earlier an open wound is also a portal of entry for pathogens. Once infected the wound becomes that much more difficult to heal. The infection needs to be cleared, and then the wound healed. Every patient should be checking their feet daily, any noticed wound should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage or progression.