The September 2010 issue of Lower Extremity Review features an interesting article titled: Diabetes experts focus on foot ulcer recurrence. If you’re diabetic or treat patients with diabetes, it’s certainly worth your time to check it out.
According to the article, “up to 60% of diabetic foot ulcers recur even with careful attention.” It’s alarming to hear that the rate of recurrence is so high – especially when a person’s life and limb are at stake. Is there anything that can be done? Certainly! But with rising healthcare expenses and reimbursement issues, patient care must extend beyond the doctor’s office.
The responsibility for foot health does not reside solely on healthcare practitioners – the patient him/herself needs to do whatever they can to help prevent and heal foot trauma, including diabetic foot ulcers and heel fissures. Complying with physician recommendations for custom footwear and bracing along with daily foot inspections are necessary to reduce the risk of ulcer recurrence. But along with diabetes comes a variety of physical and emotional issues; all which make patient care and compliance more difficult.
Certified Pedorthist, Dennis Janisse notes, “You can usually tell fairly quickly if you’re dealing with someone who is going to take responsibility for themselves… If they don’t, it dramatically increases the risk of reulceration.” Janisse concludes, “…if it’s on the foot, they may get it healed, but they have no idea what to do after that to prevent further ulceration. We have to do appropriate patient education.”
A combination of plantar pressure and shear offloading techniques, foot deformity correction and patient-practitioner collaboration are essential to reducing the incidence of foot ulcer recurrence.
Continue Reading: Diabetes experts focus on foot ulcer recurrence
(Lower Extremity Review, September 2010)