Diabetic Limb Treatment & Loss Prevention | MedStar Health
diabetic foot

Individuals with diabetes sometimes develop complications from the condition over time. This is due to the high levels of blood glucose found in these patients, which can lead to damaged nerves. Unable to feel sensations in their feet, these individuals can develop cuts, blisters, or sores that, untreated, become ulcers and infections.

Blood vessels are also frequently damaged from diabetes, which results in poor circulation. Without proper circulation, the feet do not get enough blood, which makes it harder for wounds to heal.

All of this can lead to what is called the diabetic foot. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • An ulcer or sore in the foot
  • Pain
  • Redness in the foot
  • Gangrene

At MedStar Health’s Foot and Ankle Center, diabetic limb specialists offer the most advanced treatment options for people who suffer from these diabetes-related foot problems. We have expertise in Charcot foot reconstruction, as well as external fixation, a technique that uses advanced computer technology to assist surgeons during the reconstruction procedure.

What are the treatments?

The treatment of diabetic foot is directed toward the cause. Often, this means controlling the infection with antibiotics. Or, if extensive infection is present, your podiatric or wound care specialist may recommend surgery. Unfortunately, amputations are sometimes necessary.

But here at our Center for Wound Healing, Hyperbaric Medicine, and Limb Salvage, the focus is on preventing limb loss and improving quality of life. Our limb specialists offer the most advanced treatment options for people who suffer from:

  • Diabetic-related neuropathy fractures and injuries
  • Foot deformities with expertise in wound and Charcot foot reconstruction

We offer a range of specialized treatments to improve wound outcomes. We can accommodate patients who have urgent needs with our eight treatment rooms and four hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers.

Our team also provides advanced wound care for patients with:

  • Pressure injuries
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Venous and/or arterial insufficiency
  • Burns
  • Trauma
  • Soft tissue radiation necrosis

To learn more about diabetes and wound prevention:

Diabetic limb salvage – MedStar Health’s multidisciplinary approach

The Foot and Ankle Center at MedStar Health offers the experienced orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons, as well as the comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach you need to recover from a severe diabetic limb condition. Our orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons have advanced, fellowship training in foot and ankle surgery and perform 1,500 procedures every year.

We work together with the specialists you need, including wound care specialists, vascular and plastic surgeons, and your endocrinologist to create a treatment plan that will manage your condition most effectively.

Our staff will also work with you to coordinate all other special services you might need throughout your treatment and recovery. These services include:

  • Radiology

  • The Wound Care Center

  • Diagnostics
  • Pedorthic and shoe consultants, if you need special orthotics or shoes
  • Durable medical goods, including braces, crutches, and other equipment you may need during recovery
  • Physical therapy

We help you save time and hassle by offering you a complete array of treatment services all in one location.

Diabetic limb salvage recovery

Recovery from diabetic limb salvage surgeries may take some time. You will need to stay off your feet immediately after surgery. Then, you will likely need to wear special braces and shoes to cushion your feet as they continue to heal. We may also recommend physical therapy to help you regain strength in your feet. Your orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon will discuss the specific details of your recovery with you before your procedure.

Our providers

Young female doctor taking diabetes blood test of senior woman

Expert endocrinology care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our endocrinologists.

Our locations

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MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Road NW,
BLES Building
1st. Floor
Washington, D.C., 20007