An ulcer is defined as a breakdown in the skin that may extend to involve the subcutaneous tissue or even to the level of muscle or bone. These lesions are commonly associated with various medical conditions including diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
If left untreated a foot ulcer can have very serous consequences and therefore specialised treatment, as the earliest opportunity is essential.
Your podiatrist will carry out a thorough foot examination, including a neurovascular assessment of the foot. They will ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, footwear, hobbies and a description of the presenting problem to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
Initial treatment usually involves assessment of the ulcer to ascertain the cause and type of ulcer; this will then form the basis of the treatment plan, which includes:
- Sharp debridement
- Foot dressings
- Wound swabbing
- Anti-microbial therapy
- Onward referral to NHS podiatry, vascular or orthopedic consultant where required.
If left untreated
An untreated foot ulceration can have the severest of complications, and in people with certain health conditions can lead to soft tissue and bone infections, these can lead to lower limb amputation.
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