Expert Wound Care and Limb Salvage by Dr. Vladimir Zeetser
Lower extremity, ankle and foot wounds are becoming increasingly common as our population continues to live longer. Diabetes is becoming an epidemic and is a major cause of lower extremity wounds in the United States. Often, these wounds are chronic and very complex in nature, so they require a trained wound specialist who can effectively manage all aspects necessary to achieve healing, and salvage the limb. In the past and even to this day, there have been unnecessary limb amputations which might have been avoided or minimized under the care of a trained specialist.
Dr. Zeetser has received comprehensive training in lower extremity wound care and diabetic limb salvage. As a specialist in this field, he utilizes advanced surgical techniques, including skin flaps and adjacent tissue transfers, and employs a variety of skin grafting materials available today. He also utilizes a variety of the most advanced topical wound treatments available, including specialized collagen and silver-impregnated dressings, topical medications, medical maggot therapy and other proven modalities. He routinely treats complicated wounds which are difficult to heal and frustrating for most physicians. For this reason, patients have traveled from distant cities for the chance to salvage a limb after being told there was no hope.
In general, most lower extremity wounds can be classified into the following categories, based on the underlying cause:
Venous Insufficiency (from varicose veins and chronic lower extremity swelling)
P.A.D. - Peripheral Arterial Disease
Infections / Insect Bites
Pressure Sores (like bed sores)
Traumatic Wounds (from an injury or cut)
Immune and other Systemic Diseases
By far, the most common cause of foot and lower extremity wounds is diabetes, followed by venous insufficiency and P.A.D.
During your initial consultation, the cause of your wound will be determined and a treatment course will be discussed with you in detail.
Diabetic Foot Wounds
There are over than 21 million known people with diabetes in the United States, and this staggering figure continues to grow by almost one-half million annually. It has been estimated that an equal number of persons with diabetes remain undiagnosed. A person develops diabetes when their body is unable to maintain a normal level of sugar in the blood. Insulin, the hormone that regulates the level of sugar, is either not used properly by the body or it is produced in inadequate amounts. When this occurs, diabetes is the result.
Peripheral Neuropathy can manifest itself as abnormal sensations such as burning, tingling, numbness, and pain. Often, patients report feelings of ants crawling on their skin. Treatment can include medications, infra-red light therapy such as Anodyne, and surgical nerve decompression.
Venous Insufficiency with Venous Stasis Wounds
Poor venous circulation occurs due to incompetent or faulty valves on the deep veins. Rather than properly closing and pumping blood upwards towards the heart, these valves remain partially open, allowing blood to backflow down the legs. The fluid accumulates in the legs, ankles and feet causing swelling and varicose veins.