Diabetic foot ulcers lead to a number of additional health concerns. As a result of diabetes, your foot can show neuropathy (nerve damage), vascular disease, and diminished response to infection. In some cases, this even leads to physical deformation of your foot.
Neuropathy can eventually cause paralysis in the small muscles of your foot, which can make your toes curl and contract. You can also lose your ability to experience feeling in your foot. Bones in your foot can actually fracture or disintegrate as a result of a process known as “Charcot foot.” This process will leave foot deformity that will predispose to ulcers without proper offloading with special padding, shoes, and even bracing.
Total Contact Casting Protects Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Protects Your Foot During the Early Phases of Charcot Foot
Total contact casting is widely accepted as the most effective method for off-loading diabetic foot ulcers. However, it isn’t used as often as it should be.
With total contact casting, your foot is placed into a cast. With this type of casting, the cast distributes your weight along the entire sole of your foot. The cast contacts the shape of your foot with great precision.
This results in relief of pressure at specific points on your foot, like your heel. In turn, that makes it easy for diabetic ulcers on your foot to heal. At the same time, you’ll still retain your ability to walk.
How Total Casting Works with Charcot Foot
If your foot suffers from Charcot Foot, total contact casting can be used in two different ways. If your foot is swollen and reactive, the total contact cast serves to control your foot’s movement and support its contours. In this situation, you won’t be able to stand on your foot.
In the second situation, when ulcers have already begun and your foot has some deformity, total contact casting works the same as described earlier. The cast distributes your weight along your foot’s sole, relieving pressure, while still allowing you to walk.
Total Contact Casting Is Highly Effective
To work, your foot must have a consistent blood supply, which is something your doctor must monitor. Your cast must also be changed every 1-2 weeks or so because other sores can develop without your awareness. You’ll keep the cast on until your foot is completely healed and no longer requires it for protection. If your foot needs to be immobilized, you may get a removable walking boot.
Only skilled individuals will apply these particular casts, since improperly fitted cast can cause further ulceration.
When you choose North Texas Foot & Ankle, it’s very likely you’ll get total contact casting to treat diabetic foot ulcers.
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