Leg and foot wounds have become a huge problem in the United States. Fortunately, there are thousands of Wound Care Centers to help with the day to day care of these painful and potentially dangerous wounds. Wound care centers are usually affiliated with hospitals and function as one of many resources that a patients with wounds has at their disposal in an effort to keep their wounds from progressing to where amputation may be the only choice left to salvage the limb. Unfortunately, in many of these wound care centers an underlying cause for why many of these non-healing wounds don’t heal in a timely manner is often overlooked: circulation to the leg or foot. This can be either on the arterial side (Delivering oxygen and nutrients necessary to heal the affected area) or on the venous side, (Removing toxins and fluid from the affected area).
Research has shown that about 70% of people who seek care at Wound Care Centers have an underlying circulation issue. Unfortunately, the current practice in most wound care centers is that this circulatory problem is not diagnosed or considered until after months of futile debridement and dressing changes have failed to achieve long term healing. In an effort to best treat non-healing leg wounds it is critical, therefore, for patients to have their circulation evaluated by a Vascular Surgeon.
This is even more important in patients over the age of 50, if there has EVER been a history of smoking, diabetes, or hypertension.
Finally, this evaluation must be done at the very start of a wound care patients treatment and not be put off until after debridement and other topical approaches have failed. If you or a loved one is currently being seen at a wound care center for non-healing leg wound it is vital that you insist upon getting a vascular ultrasound study if it has not already been done.
Testing for circulation is a non-invasive process and can be done, in most cases, in under an hour. Testing is pain free and does not involve the use of any drugs and or anesthesia. Using simple sound waves a Registered Vascular Ultrasonographer can easily scan for circulatory deficiencies and provide your physician with the critical information they need to develop a plan for how to best approach healing your wounds.
Non-healing leg wounds and ulcers fall into several different categories:
Diabetic Wounds: If you have diabetes, you may be prone to foot ulcers since you may not have protective sensation on your feet. Causes of foot ulcers include excessive pressure or rubbing against the skin that may result from wearing ill-fitting shoes or walking barefoot.
Arterial Wounds: Complete or partial arterial blockage can lead to ulcers. If you have arterial disease, you may have tests to measure blood flow or to locate a blockage in your arteries.
Venous Wounds: These ulcers are usually a symptom of venous disease, where the veins in your legs are compromised, causing blood to build up. Typical venous ulcers appear near the ankle and are often painful.
South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute, with offices in both Campbell and Gilroy, CA. specializes in the treatment of Non-healing leg and foot wounds. Led by Dr. Polyxene Kokinos, MD. RPVI. South Bay Vascular Center Physicians are world class experts in revascularization techniques that can help re-establish blood flow to areas suffering from circulatory illness. Recognized as an expert in her field, Dr. Kokinos teaches advanced revascularization techniques to local vascular surgeons looking to offer similar care to their patients. If you or anyone you know suffers from non-healing leg or foot wounds, call today at 408-376-3626 to schedule your appointment.
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