(ST. LOUIS, MO – August 30, 2021) Over 10% of the United States population has diabetes and with that diagnosis comes an increased risk for developing leg and foot ulcers. According to the American Journal of Managed Care, every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes and each day roughly 230 Americans with diabetes will suffer an amputation as a result.
Raffi Krikorian, MD., founder of Virtue Vein & Lymphatic Center, said as the number of people developing diabetes continues to rise, ensuring that they know what foot ulcers look like and how to properly treat them is essential.
“It’s estimated that roughly 85% of all amputations worldwide are a result of diabetic foot ulcers so properly treating them early on is of critical importance in terms of ensuring the patient’s overall health outcome,” said Dr. Krikorian. “Too many times in the past, I’ve seen amputations happen as a result of not taking steps sooner to help preserve the limb. Saving someone’s leg or foot doubles that person’s chance of overall survival and makes a tremendous difference in their quality of life.”
A leg or diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore that won’t heal with normal treatment. They’re usually on the inner leg, just above the ankle, and can often develop even from seemingly trivial injuries to the feet. The ulcer may cause swelling, itching, pus, and hardened or discolored skin around the wound.
In minor cases, leg ulcers can be caused by arterial issues, venous issues, or a mixture of the both. Dr. Krikorian stressed it is important for patients to get a full workup of both the veins and arteries prior to any treatment to determine the root cause.
In most cases, leg ulcers can be treated with small lifestyle changes such as wearing compression stockings or adopting a healthier diet. Other treatment options include Endovenous Ablation Therapy, using laser or radiofrequency energy to encourage healthier veins and redirect blood flow, or Angioplasty and Stenting. These methods treat the veins and/or arteries causing the ulcers and help prevent them from forming again.
At Virtue Vein & Lymphatic Center, these innovative treatments for potential amputation-risk patients are part of Dr. Krikorian’s commitment to limb preservation. In severe leg ulcer cases, he may consult his multidisciplinary team to work together and save the limb.
Virtue Vein and Lymphatic Center has six locations throughout Southwest Missouri and Illinois, including its flagship location at 3760 South Lindbergh Blvd, Suite 101 in St. Louis. With 25 years of experience in this field, Dr. Krikorian is one of only a few board-certified cardiologists throughout the St. Louis region to also practice in vascular, venous, and lymphatic health. The private practice specializes in offering its patients cutting-edge solutions to their unique vein problems. For more information about Virtue Vein and Lymphatic Center, go to www.VirtueVein.com or call 314-849-0923.