Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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By the WoundSource Editors

Collateral circulation: A collateral blood vessel circuit that may be adapted or remodeled to minimize the use of occluded arteries. Collateralization may offset some of the physiological signs of peripheral artery disease, such as maintaining a normal capillary refill.

Critical limb ischemia: A severe form of peripheral arterial disease in which a severe blockage of the arteries of the lower extremities reduces blood flow. It is a chronic condition that is often characterized by wounds of the lower extremity.

Dependent rubor: A light red to dusky-red coloration that is visible when the leg is in a dependent position (such as hanging off the edge of a table) but not when it is elevated above the heart. The presence of dependent rubor is often an indicator of underlying peripheral arterial disease. When the leg is raised above the level of the heart, its color will normalize.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Lower extremity wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), venous ulcers, and arterial ulcers have been linked to poor patient outcomes, such as patient mortality and recurrence of the wound. Although precise recurrence rates can be difficult to determine and can vary across different patient populations, we do know that the recurrence rates of lower extremity wounds are quite high.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Wounds of the lower extremity, such as chronic venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers, often have a severe impact on patients' quality of life. Symptoms may range from mild to debilitating, depending on the location of the injury and its severity. These types of wounds also affect a tremendous number of people because lower extremity wounds are estimated to occur in up to 13% of the United States population. The estimated annual cost of treating lower extremity wounds is at least $20 billion in the United States.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Chronic wounds pose an ongoing challenge for clinicians, and there needs to be a clearer understanding of the pathophysiology of wound chronicity and treatment modalities available.

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Frequently Asked Questions

By Windy Cole, DPM

In my recent WoundSource webinar, I discussed the topic of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) and using advanced therapies to encourage their healing. The webinar is still available for viewing on WoundSource.com. Chronic lower extremity wounds present significant challenges with regard to effective wound management. Ischemia, microcirculatory dysfunction and peripheral vascular disease cause limitations in blood flow that can delay the healing process.

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 Evidence-Based Product for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management

By the WoundSource Editors

When determining the course of action for treating a given wound, it is important that wound care clinicians evaluate how advanced wound care therapies have been deemed evidence based and how the specific product technology works. Evidence-based advanced wound care products are required to be safe and effective based on epidemiology, etiology, and pathophysiology. However, safety and efficiency are not a 100% guarantee of effectiveness in clinical practice.

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Diabetic Foot Ulcer Care and Patient Support

By the WoundSource Editors

Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) complications are challenging and costly. Evidence-based practice and advanced wound care technologies have the potential to maximize good outcomes and prevent ulcer recurrence, but ensuring that patients receive education on diabetes management and DFU prevention is also a vital step. Over time, people with unmanaged diabetes have increased chances of complications such as neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), chronic DFUs, infections, osteomyelitis, amputation, and even death.

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Advanced Therapies for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By the WoundSource Editors

Advanced wound care technologies have come a long way in treating chronic wounds. However, diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) can be challenging, and not every patient should have identical treatment. Utilizing a patient-centered approach is necessary for selecting appropriate treatments and achieving best possible outcomes. Understanding the specific patient’s needs and understanding the pathophysiology of diabetic wound chronicity are key elements in DFU management. The primary goal should be wound closure, while also preventing recurrence. To achieve both goals, clinicians must incorporate ongoing education and clinical support. Health care professionals should keep up on latest evidence-based research and practices to select the best advanced treatment for each patient.

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Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By the WoundSource Editors

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) continue to be a major problem, causing patient suffering, burden, infections, and high mortality. The cost of DFU treatment was estimated at $1.3 trillion globally in 2015. Despite evolving advanced wound care technologies through the years, DFUs continue to be among the most challenging chronic wound types.

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by the WoundSource Editors

ADA Diabetic Foot Risk Classification Table: A tool to help identify patient risk factors and urgency that includes priorities, indications, timelines, and suggested follow-ups.

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