Chronic wounds are wounds that don’t heal or improve significantly within about four weeks. Chronic wounds can greatly affect a person's quality of life. A stubborn wound that won't heal can prevent you from being as active as you would like, impacting your family, social life, work and more. It could even lead to complications such as infection and amputation.
What is the connection between diabetes and chronic wounds?
People who have diabetes are much more likely to require wound care services. According to statistics from the American Diabetes Association:
- Five million people suffering chronic wounds have diabetic ulcers.
- Fifteen percent of all diabetics will develop chronic wounds.
- Diabetic patients have a 15-fold increase of amputation risk.
- Approximately 60,000 people with diabetes will undergo amputation each year.
- Diabetes-related amputations could be reduced by 50 percent if patients were routinely tested for neuropathy, educated to prevent complications and fitted with appropriate footwear.
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is one of the most common complications of diabetes. Neuropathy develops gradually, usually in the feet, and results in numbness. This is a warning sign of diabetes. If you have numbness in your toes or feet, be sure to tell your doctor at Tanner Advanced Wound Center or make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.