Foot Wounds on the feet are often caused by poorly distributed pressure, circulation, or traumatic injury. Certain individuals are at a greater risk of developing these types of problems. Diabetics with peripheral neuropathy are at an increased risk of developing these types of problematic wounds or ulcers.
Managing Foot Wounds
Foot Wounds need to be managed in accordance with their presentation and condition. Initial inspection should determine if there is any infection contributing pressure, circulation, healing capacity, and overall health. Wounds tell us what need to be done. If there is no circulation- vascular surgery, pressure- remove the pressure, infection- treat the infection, wet wound- dry it, etc. As more and more wound care is being shifted to wound care nurses (WCN) or wound care teams, it seams every wounds treatment of course is the same- Santyl dressing QD. Getting wounds to heal requires treating the source be it pressure, infections, dietary concerns, circulation, and/or necrotic tissue.
If an infection exists it is necessary to first get the infection under control. Identifying the organisms that are causing the infection with a culture may be necessary in certain situations. Some medical professionals may treat the infection topically and orally with antibiotics. If for circulation exists it may be difficult to get the infection under control.
Identifying sources of pressure in shoes or bony prominences on the plantar surface of the foot is critical in treating wounds on the feet. Often times offloading pressure on the feet requires special insoles or specific types of shoes. Wounds will not heal if pressure persists.
It is absolutely imperative that people have adequate circulation in order to heal wounds. If adequate circulation does not exist it may be necessary to perform vascular surgery to acquire sufficient blood flow. New techniques and vascular surgery have become less invasive and very productive.
Peripheral neuropathy is a major risk factor in the development of wounds on the feet. It is important that people with peripheral neuropahty monitor their feet on a regular basis. If there are any signs of callous formation or redness on the feet around bony prominences they need to be assessed by a podiatrist.