An ulceration or ulcer is usually a painless sore from excessive pressure at the site. Traumas from various sources are also potential causes. Continued pressure on the injured skin creates further damage and will frequently lead to infections that may penetrate to the bone. Treatment relies on early recognition of the ulceration by a podiatric surgeon; local wound care, dressing and antibiotics. Other measures, such as custom orthotics or specific shoe gear, may be necessary to adequately relieve pressure on the area. Once an ulcer has healed, it is important to continue to see a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon to avoid future problems.
A recent study done at Loyola University Medical School has shown that there is a direct correlation between the regularity of care and the severity of ulcers. Patients who were seen for diabetic foot care regularly had fewer ulcers and lesser severity. Those with the worse ulcers, requiring the greatest level of care, were seen least. In simple terms, $300 worth of preventative care can obviate $25,000 for a lower extremity amputation. This is why the Centers of Disease Control, The Public Health Service, The Veterans Administration, The American Podiatric Association and The American Diabetic Association recommend regular foot examinations for all diabetics.