Foot Wound Treatment

Wound Treatment Options

Treatment of the chronic wound will depend on a variety of individual factors such as age, overall health, and the nature of your wound. The goal of your treatment plan will be optimal wound healing through the protocol that your podiatrist feels is warranted for your type of wound.

Initial treatment will involve cleaning the wound thoroughly of dirt and debris and the removal of dead skin through some form of debridement. Debridement may be done as surgical debridement with removal of dead skin by a scalpel or other sharp instrument or debridement with the use of chemical enzymatic agents that breakdown the dead skin.

Once the wound is brought to a point for optimal healing, a moist dressing will be used to further promote the healing process. These dressings may include hydrocolloid, alginate, hydrogel, iodine, collagen, silver or foam dressings. Each provides the right environment for proper healing and your podiatrist will choose which will be in your best interest. Your podiatrist will also instruct you on the daily care of your wound as the dressings will need to be monitored and changed regularly to insure optimal healing. Be sure to ask any questions about home care as it is integral to the healing process.

Your podiatrist may also recommend compression bandages and stockings for venous support and to promote circulation for proper healing. You may need to take pain medication and/or prescription medication for infection. Be sure to discuss any medications you are currently taking with your podiatrist as some steroids and anti-inflammatories can interfere with the healing process. You will also be encouraged to monitor any medical conditions such as diabetes, very closely. Maintaining proper blood glucose levels is imperative to the healing process. Eating a well balanced and nutritious diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and extra protein are also imperative to the healing process.

Other treatments may include topical growth factors, skin grafting, gene therapy, bioengineered skin equivalents; and negative pressure wound therapy, possibly with a vacuum assisted closure device. Off loading is another treatment protocol that is utilized for the healing process. This may involve positioning the body certain ways to alleviate pressure and/or the use of a special shoe, boot, or cast to prevent the injury from rubbing or resting directly on hard surfaces. Your podiatrist may even request that you put no weight at all on the wound by utilizing a wheel chair, walker, cane or even staying in bed.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, which is the utilization of pressurized oxygen to aid in the healing of chronic wounds and Topical Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy which is done locally to the wound are options as well. Vascular surgery may be recommended if blood flow to the lower extremities is preventing healing.

Treatment options for wound care and wound management are continuously evolving. This provides a wide variety of treatments at your podiatrist's disposal to treat you accordingly. Be sure to discuss your treatment protocol with your podiatrist if you have any questions. Your knowledge about your care will insure a timely healing process.