According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50 percent higher than adults without the disease, in part because it affects the whole body and can lead to hardening of the arteries.
Ongoing, elevated blood-sugar levels damage blood vessels, which directly affects the manner by which a wound is perceived, and subsequently healed.
Over time, these uncontrolled blood sugars can cause significant nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy, especially in extremities such as hands and feet. This nerve damage can manifest as weakness, pain or numbness, which means a wound can occur and worsen without a patient’s knowledge.
Dr. Monique L. Abner, medical director of the Meritus Wound Center, said, “Patients need a raised level of awareness when they receive the diabetes diagnosis.”
Total contact casting, or TCC, is a modern, advanced treatment Abner often recommends for her diabetic patients. This is one of the most significant medical interventions that can benefit a diabetic neuropathic ulcer because it offloads pressure from the foot, allowing it to fully heal.