Chronic Foot Wounds: Know Your Treatment Options

Aug 04, 2023
Chronic Foot Wounds: Know Your Treatment Options
Slow-healing foot wounds lasting longer than eight weeks become known as chronic. Diabetics frequently have trouble with these wounds, and helping them to heal may take time, attention, and more than one type of treatment.

Your feet take a beating, and in general they have remarkably few problems given the loads they must bear. However, getting older or suffering from certain conditions can contribute to wounds or ulcers forming on your feet and lower legs. 

These wounds can be slow to heal, due to changes in blood flow in your lower legs, the farthest place from your heart. When a foot wound takes longer than eight weeks to heal, it’s considered chronic, and it may be beyond your home care efforts. 

Advanced Vascular Cardiac & Veins in Miami, Florida, can help. Dr. Enrique Hernandez and his team specialize in the care of foot wounds, providing you with a wide range of medically assisted treatments to heal your wounds while preventing further complications. 

How foot wounds form

While it’s not the only cause of ulcerous wounds on the feet and legs, diabetes is a common reason behind their development. Some people with diabetes develop neuropathy in their lower legs, blocking sensations from the feet. You could suffer from a cut or scrape without feeling it. 

This allows a simple wound to advance. Without knowing you have an injury, the ulcer advances without simple care in its early stages. You may also be vulnerable to ulcer formation if you have heart disease or blood circulation problems, since your blood provides the raw materials necessary for healing. 


Other conditions that can contribute to foot wounds include: 


  • Obesity
  • Foot conditions that might cause friction and injury, like bunions and hammertoes
  • Kidney disease
  • High intake levels of alcohol
  • Using any form of tobacco

About 15% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers, often on the soles of their feet. Nearly one-quarter of them may eventually lose toes to amputation. 

Treatment options for foot ulcers

If you’re diabetic or if you have conditions that contribute to foot ulcers, daily foot inspections could perhaps be the most important treatment to prevent foot wounds from forming at all. Tending to minor injuries as soon as possible after they occur can help to limit wound development. 

Cleaning and dressing

The first stage of wound care involves keeping the wound clean and covered. Keeping a foot wound covered and moist is the best way to encourage healing. Antibiotic ointments may help you at this stage. 

Addressing foot conditions

Orthotics, prosthetics, pads, and cushions could ease problems like bunions, calluses, and hammertoes from developing or aggravating a foot wound. 


Spending time daily with your feet above your heart level encourages drainage and improved venous blood flow. 

Compression hose

Another circulation booster, compression socks or stockings encourage blood flow in the lower legs, assisting natural healing. 

More advanced medical treatments include: 

  • Removing infected tissue (debridement)
  • Removing scar tissue (tenotomy) 
  • Removing parts of the sole of your foot (plantar exostectomy)
  • Surgical lengthening of the Achilles tendon
  • Shaving, removing, or reshaping certain bones in the feet
  • Skin grafts
  • Reconstructive surgery

Your case is likely unique, so we customize treatment to offer you the most effective procedure with the most conservative care that produces the desired results. 

Contact the Miami office of Advanced Vascular Cardiac & Veins to schedule a personal foot wound consultation. Dr. Hernandez examines, diagnoses, and treats your foot wound to promote the most effective healing. Call today and avoid complications down the road.