Treating Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers by Minimally Invasive Surgery

Apr 10, 2023
Treating Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers by Minimally Invasive Surgery
You may not rejoice at the thought of surgery, and that’s perfectly understandable. But how about a minimally invasive procedure with minimal incisions, reduced infection risk, and faster healing for diabetic foot ulcers? Learn more from our team.

Poor circulation, nerve damage, and open wounds that heal slowly or not at all are unfortunate complications of diabetes. Fortunately, you can bring your diabetes under better control. But what can you do about your current diabetic foot ulcers?

Kyrou Podiatry Associates offers high-quality foot and ankle care to children and adults of all ages from five locations in New York. Our expertly trained, board-certified podiatrists are committed to providing advanced, community-focused services that put our patients first.

That’s why we specialize in comprehensive diabetic foot care, including the most advanced services available for nonhealing wounds. In addition, Dr. Kyrou is one of a few podiatrists in the United States who’s board-certified in minimal incision surgery.

Read our team’s insight regarding diabetic foot ulcers and the benefits of minimally invasive surgical procedures.   

How does diabetes affect my feet?

Persistently elevated blood sugar damages blood vessels, eventually interfering with their ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissue structures throughout the body. Reduced blood flow through arteries in your legs starves the skin on your feet of much-needed oxygen and other natural substances it requires for self-repair and healing.

In addition, damaged capillaries and veins struggle to remove excess water and other wastes from tissue and return “used” blood to the heart and lungs for refueling. This leads to swelling (edema) in the feet and ankles, damaging the skin over time.

Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) is another common complication of diabetes. The CDC estimates that half of all people with diabetes eventually develop peripheral neuropathy, which usually starts in the feet.

One effect of peripheral neuropathy is altered sensation in the involved areas. For instance, some parts of your feet may become hypersensitive, making even the lightest touch painful. At the same time, other areas may become numb enough that you can no longer feel a surface injury, such as a blister or abrasion.

As part of your diabetic foot care at Kyrou Podiatry Associates, your provider checks your feet carefully for early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers and other complications.

What are diabetic foot ulcers?

Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores that typically occur on the toes or bottoms of the feet. These painful ulcerations enlarge without treatment, spreading in diameter and growing deep enough to involve underlying muscle and bone.

Altered sensations caused by peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation related to diabetes play a role in diabetic foot ulcers. For instance, you may not realize you’re developing an ulcer until you notice blood on your socks or pain caused by a deepening infection involving muscle and bone.   

Also, poor circulation and nerve damage in the lower legs and feet can cause the skin to become excessively fragile. Fragile skin breaks down quickly at pressure points caused by ill-fitting or inadequately cushioned shoes. An ulcer can develop at these pressure points, frequently on the ball of the foot or around the toes.

In addition, poorly trimmed toenails, excessively dry skin, fungal infections, and attempting to remove corns or calluses at home also increase your risk of developing a nonhealing wound.

How do you treat diabetic foot ulcers with minimally invasive surgery?

Treatment at Kyrou Podiatry Associates starts with a thorough evaluation, including diagnostic studies to evaluate whether there’s an infection present, the ulcer’s depth, and other essential factors that may affect treatment.  

As our diabetic wound care specialist, Dr. Kyrou then develops an individualized treatment strategy that usually starts with conservative therapies. Your plan may include clearing away dead or dying tissue (debridement), collagen dressings to promote healing, and custom-fit orthotics to prevent pressure on the wound.

If you don’t respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Kyrou may recommend minimally invasive surgery (or minimal incision surgery) to relieve pressure on the ulcer site and prevent a recurrence. The benefits of these in-office procedures include minimal tissue damage, immediate post-surgical weight bearing, and rapid ulcer healing.

Schedule your evaluation at Kyrou Podiatry Associates today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.