When it comes to ulcers and wounds of the feet and legs, diabetes is usually the first thing that comes to mind.
There’s a reason for that, of course—diabetes is an underlying factor in a significant percentage of these cases. But you don’t have to have diabetes to develop a leg ulcer or other cardiovascular problem affecting this part of the body.
And if you do develop issues with lower extremity wounds, regardless of the cause, the first call you should make should be to Precision Foot and Ankle.
Our office has a wide variety of advanced wound care diagnostic and treatment options to help you—and unlike most cardiologists in the area, we can almost always see you within one week of your call, rather than 2-3 weeks (or more). And if you are currently experiencing an emergency, we will do everything we can to get you in within 24 hours.
Types of Foot and Leg Ulcers We Treat
We regularly treat patients for the following conditions (and more):
- Diabetic ulcers. High levels of sugar in the bloodstream can have toxic effects on your nerve health and circulation, and make it much more difficult for your body to close foot wounds and fight off infections. For more detailed information, please see our page on diabetic wound care.
- Venous stasis ulcers / venous insufficiency. After arteries deliver oxygenated blood to your feet, the blood has to work against gravity up the veins of the leg to get back to the heart. Unfortunately, valves in the veins may become damaged or weakened, and can’t push blood upward as efficiently. Blood clots in the deep veins of the leg (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) can also play a role. Blood can then pool in the legs and even leak backward. Eventually, this can further lead to open sores on the legs.
- Hypertensive ulcers / Martorell ulcers. If you have poorly controlled high blood pressure (hypertension) over a long period of time, small blood vessels in the leg may become narrower and start to resist blood flow. Eventually, lack of blood supply can lead to death of the skin, and development of the wound.
- Arterial ulcers / ischemic ulcers. These ulcers develop because the body’s arteries are, for one reason or another, unable to provide enough oxygen-rich blood to the body’s tissues. There are a wide variety of underlying factors that can cause this, from peripheral vascular disease to diabetes to kidney failure to high blood pressure and more.
Advanced Care Options Are Available
Depending on the severity of your wound and what kind of treatment protocol you require, we may perform wound care at our office, or at the local wound care center where Dr. Tenenboym is on staff.
Some of the advanced treatment options we have at our disposal include:
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This advanced therapy may be recommended for wounds that have been especially slow to heal. While in the therapy chamber, air pressure is increased so that your lungs can take in a greater amount of oxygen. That oxygen can then be carried by your blood to the wound site, which helps accelerate the healing process.
- Advanced biologics and stem cells. We may use advanced wound coverings and grafts made from donated amniotic or placental tissue, or other biological sources. These regenerative products not only provide an effective barrier from external infections, but also help accelerate the body’s own natural wound healing processes and reduce pain and scarring (among other benefits).
- Total contact casting. Total contact casts closely follow the natural shape and contours of your feet and legs, and consist of a shell made of plaster or fiberglass with a bar on the bottom, and a thin layer of soft foam directly under the ulcer. This setup encourages faster wound healing by keeping as much weight as possible off the wound and distributing weight across your entire sole.
- Multi-layer compression wraps and stockings. Multi-layer compression wraps are applied to help control swelling in your feet and legs, and prevent wounds from worsening or returning. Each layer has a function. The first protects the skin and keeps you comfortable. The second creates a smooth “gradient” of compression (less pressure higher up the leg) which makes it easier for blood to flow back up the leg. A final layer helps to augment the “pumping” action of the calf muscles to further assist blood return.
When it comes to caring for your lower extremity wound, please trust your feet to Precision Foot and Ankle. We understand how dangerous these ulcers can be—which is why we have invested so much in making sure we have the most advanced training and technology available to help you.
To schedule an appointment with us at our office in Pinellas Park, please call (727) 399-7167 today.