Chronic wounds are commonly found in the elderly, diabetic, debilitated, and those with poor circulation. Few skin conditions prevent us of enjoying our normal lives more than the suffering that comes from wounds that don’t heal.
It can be very expensive and time consuming to treat. Some are limb threatening. People with a diabetic foot ulcer have a 40% greater 10 year mortality than people with diabetes alone.
Dr. VanTil has a special interest in treating chronic wounds. He spends time weekly at two hospital-based wound centers. He believes that it is critical that the underlying causes are identified and treated quickly to not only obtain a cure, but to maintain a cure!
Diabetic Limb Salvage
One of the most rewarding challenges we have is treating complications in the diabetic foot. High blood sugar damages our peripheral nerves, causing neuropathy. This results in burning, tingling, pain, or numbness of the feet. Affected bones and joints can sometimes collapse from the pressure of simple daily stress. Small wounds (ulcers) can develop which are often times not noticed until they become infected. Twenty-five percent of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. More than half of these ulcers will become infected, requiring hospitalization. Diabetics tend to have poor circulation, decreased immunity, and impaired healing.
We are experienced in managing wounds, infections, and foot deformities that occur in diabetics. We may provide wound care, debridement, antibiotics, protective footgear, or surgery. Our main objective is to preserve as much as possible the structure and function of the foot. We thoroughly explain all the options so that the patient is comfortable with his/her choices.
The podiatrist is part of the treatment team which includes the vascular specialist, endocrinologist, primary care physician, pedorthist, and infectious disease specialist.