Non-Healing Diabetic Wounds

Foot ulcers and non-healing wounds are common issues for people with uncontrolled diabetes. Good foot care is important for anyone with diabetes because uncontrolled blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels in hands and feet. As a result, you may lose the feeling in your feet, which means you might not notice or feel injuries.

Cuts and sores can then develop and become infected and are often difficult to heal. A wound that won’t heal can lead to a serious infection or gangrene, which can require amputation of toes or even the foot.

Diabetic foot ulcers and non-healing wounds are most commonly caused by:

  • High blood sugar
  • Irritated or wounded feet
  • Nerve damage
  • Poor circulation

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Regular foot care is crucial to preventing foot ulcers or finding them early when they are most treatable. Symptoms of foot ulcers, include:

  • Drainage from foot that stains socks of shoe.
  • Odor
  • Redness
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling

If your foot ulcer is caught early, it is usually treatable. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more risk you have of developing an infection. Untreatable infections can lead to amputation of the toes or foot. Once an ulcer has healed, preventive foot care reduces the risk of an ulcer returning.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Top-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through their commitment to advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

Coordinated, Specialized Care Through a Dedicated Institute

Our orthopaedic specialists work together through our dedicated Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. There, they focus on providing you with multidisciplinary, tailored care and state-of-the-art treatments and technologies. This produces the highest-quality patient outcomes. All physicians at the institute are fellowship-trained and subspecialize in additional niche areas of orthopaedics, including arthritis care and joint arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery).

Designated as a Blue Distinction® Center

Penn State Bone and Joint Institute is a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. This superior designation from BlueCross BlueShield is only given to health care facilities and providers that stand out for their expertise in delivering specialty knee and hip replacement care. Our surgeons specialize in a range of pain-relieving procedures, including partial knee replacement, total joint arthroplasty, joint preservation surgery and complex revision surgery. They perform more than 1,000 joint replacement procedures every year.

Confidence in Treatment Through Education

We developed a special joint replacement education website just for patients undergoing joint arthroplasty. The website takes you step by step through the joint replacement process. From things to consider before choosing surgery to recovery after surgery, you’ll find the information you need to help you feel confident in your decision to undergo joint replacement.

Advancing Orthopaedic Medicine Through Research

The doctors and researchers in our Center for Orthopaedic Research and Translational Science at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to advancing our field through scientific discovery and education. As the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research, in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.

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