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Study Shows Delays in Diabetic Ulcer Care Substantially Increases Risk of Amputations

By: Dr. Felix Sigal Tags: Diabetic Neuropathy Foot and ankle clinic Los Angeles

More than 16 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and of those, between 10 percent and 15 percent have or will develop diabetes-related foot ulcers, sores on the feet and ankles that take an inordinate amount of time to heal. Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the more common symptoms of diabetes, and they can have serious consequences: About 14 percent to 24 percent of men and women undergo foot or lower extremity amputation as a result of ulcers and deep infections that can destroy soft tissue as well as bone. Los Angeles podiatrist, Dr. Felix Sigal, explains the findings of the study below.

Study: Refer Early for Best Outcomes

Major strides have been made in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers during the past decade, but despite these advances, getting prompt care is still the key to optimal outcomes and recovery. A recent study from researchers in the U.K. clearly demonstrated the vital importance of early care for diabetic foot ulcers in successful resolution of foot ulcers. During their study, the researchers evaluated 5,000 patients with foot ulcers and found those who were diagnosed and treated early by a podiatrist were far more likely to remain ulcer-free for longer periods of time compared to those whose treatment was delayed.

According to the study:

  1. 50 percent or half of all patients who received podiatric care within two weeks of their initial ulcer presentation remained ulcer-free at their 12-week followup;
  2. 43 percent who received ulcer care between two weeks and two months of their initial presentation remained ulcer-free at 12 weeks; and
  3. Only about a third of those who waited more than two months to receive podiatric care were ulcer-free at their 12-week checkup.
  4. For many Medicare patients, family doctors play a critical role in referring men and women to podiatrists at the first indication of ulcer development and in encouraging patients to see a podiatrist regularly for routine foot care to help prevent ulcers from forming.

Leading Podiatry Practice in Los Angeles

Dr. Felix Sigal is a leading provider of diabetic wound treatment and advanced podiatry services in Los Angeles and throughout the Southern California region, offering the most advanced care based on each patient’s individual needs for optimal outcomes. In addition to wound care and routine podiatric assessments for patients with diabetes, the practice also actively participates in clinical trials and cutting-edge scientific research aimed at helping patients find relief from diabetic ulcers and preventing the need for amputation. To learn more about diabetic foot care and to find out about ongoing clinical trials and whether you might qualify, visit the Foot & Ankle Clinic website or call (213) 365-0793 today.


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