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Podiatrist’s Role in Diabetic Limb Salvage

Podiatrists play an indispensable role in the realm of diabetic limb salvage by addressing not only the immediate wound but also the underlying biomechanical issues of the foot and ankle. These foot and ankle specialists view the diabetic wound in the context of the entire lower limb's structure and function, which involves meticulous local wound care. Debridement and the use of advanced topical therapies and bioengineered tissues, coupled with strategies to offload pressure from the wound site are included. Offloading techniques might include total contact casts, custom braces, and healing shoes with custom inserts designed to redistribute pressure and prevent further injury. When conservative measures fail, surgical intervention may be necessary. Procedures like Achilles tendon lengthening or tendon transfers are performed to rebalance the foot, addressing deformities and reducing abnormal pressures that contribute to ulcers. In more severe cases, reconstructive surgery may be needed to stabilize the foot and prevent ongoing damage. Postoperative care is critical to ensure long-term success, with custom footwear and regular biomechanical monitoring playing key roles in preventing recurrence. If you are experiencing diabetic foot ulcers, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for holistic care that heals the wounds and maintains the overall health and function of your feet.

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with one of our podiatrists from Parkwood Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brunswick and Hinesville, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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