Accelerating the Healing of Diabetic Wounds of the Lower Extremity
Historical data suggests that aggressive wound care can prevent dire or unacceptable outcomes. By working with the Methodist Wound Treatment Center’s physicians, nurses and other clinical resources, patients have a greatly improved ability to experience excellent outcomes.
Diabetic wounds: a chronic situation
Diabetes now affects more than 23 million people in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 15% of these people will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Such ulcers may lead to subsequent wound infections and progressive tissue loss, resulting in amputations, morbidity, and/or death.
Advanced Wound Care for Diabetic Wounds of the Lower Extremity
The Methodist Wound Treatment Center provides a collaborative effort among referring physicians, surgeons, podiatrists and other specialists. Treatment options include aggressive wound debridement, bioengineered tissue products and negative pressure wound therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is another advanced treatment option used adjunctively with an aggressive multidisciplinary therapeutic pathway and is effective in decreasing major amputations in diabetic patients with severe neuropathic and/or ischemic foot ulcers. HBOT can also improve a patient’s response to local soft tissue and bone infection and can be considered as an adjunctive therapy for patients with Wagner grade III or higher diabetic wounds of the lower extremity.
Breathing 100% oxygen under pressure causes the oxygen to diffuse into the blood plasma. This oxygen-rich plasma is able to travel past the restriction, diffusing up to 3 times further into the tissue. The pressurized environment helps to reduce swelling and discomfort, while providing the body with at least 10 times its normal supply of oxygen to help repair damaged tissue.
Blood Vessel Regeneration
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy forces more oxygen into the tissue, encouraging the formation of new blood vessels. As these new blood vessels develop, the red blood cells start to flow, delivering even more oxygen to the affected area. This creates the optimal environment for the body’s natural healing processes to repair damaged tissue.
The Methodist Wound Treatment Center is located in Oak Ridge on the campus of Methodist Medical Center, and is conveniently located to Knoxville. The Wound Treatment Center is an outpatient program that focuses on chronic and non-healing wounds. Using advanced treatment modalities and a case management model, we help patients improve the quality of their lives. In partnership with physicians, nurses and multiple medical disciplines, we provide invaluable care for patients.
For a brochure about treating diabetic wounds, click here.
Learn more about protecting your feet from cuts and injuries that could develop into a serious wound. Read our 10 Commandments of Foot Care. Click here.