In 1998, I was asked by a friend to see their diabetic grandfather, who recently had arrived from Russia and had developed a wound in the end of his foot. At that time, I did not have specialized training in the management of diabetic wounds and there was no wound center in the area.
I asked a general surgeon to assist me in surgery because I had every intention of saving the leg. My plan was to treat the infection and heel the wound. The surgeon's advice was to amputate below the knee. I insisted on doing everything we could to save that foot and leg, and I did. The man lived for several more years and did not die from diabetic foot complications.
Following this experience, I became a member of the wound team at Northwest Hospital Wound Center. Since then evaluation and treatment programs have progressed a long way. I have worked at the wound center every Monday for over 13 years and I continue to battle to save the foot and leg and save a life.
We are now a part of the global effort that has contributed to the first decline in lower leg amputations. Some of the most important factors that have contributed to this decline are earlier detection of the wounds which leads to healing prior to amputation. While new wound care treatment programs have become more technologically advanced including such things as use of hyperbaric chamber, newer techniques of revascularization, and human tissue equivalents the most important development and has been the global emphasis on implementation of programs in patient education and prevention of foot ulcerations.
By establishing a program of ongoing education and preventive foot health examinations, our goal is to have the patient assume a regular regimen of self inspection and monitoring for the early signs of foot problems before they develop. While computerized pressure analysis, and digital examination of nerve function can be performed in the office, the patient's tools required at home are primarily focused on visual inspection, testing skin temperatures, and offloading through the use of diabetic therapeutic shoes and inserts.
We hope you will take advantage of the information we can provide through the Internet, and take advantage of our services to develop a healthier program of living with diabetes. Our goal is to save your limbs and to do everything we can to allow you to live the healthiest lives possible.