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Foot Ulcers


Foot ulcers are generally a breakdown of the skin on the plantar aspect (bottom) of the foot. They have many causes, but the most common are diabetes, and vascular insufficiency. Diabetes or vascular insufficiency should be taken very seriously as a good warning sign of impending loss of limb.

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Self-treatment is not recommended for this serious condition. Consultation with a podiatrist, orthopedist, vascular surgeon, or family doctor is recommended. Some of the things that these physicians will do are:

  • Ascertain whether or not there is diabetes through a blood test and/or
  • Obtain x-rays to determine if there is any bone involvement

If the pulses are diminished then a doppler is indicated to determine the extent of the circulation.

If there is a decrease in circulation then referral to a vascular surgeon is indicated.

The next step is to determine the level of the blockage of the artery. If the artery is blocked in a specific point, then various surgical procedures can be employed. Balloon Angioplasty, laser Angioplasty and stents are employed to open up the blood flow to the foot.

But again, any break of the skin on the plantar (bottom) of the foot is a serious condition and can result in loss of the limb. Immediate referral to a professional is indicated.


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