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Wound Care & Diabetes

Archive for the ‘Wound Care’ Category

Wound Care & Diabetes

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments


Robert Striks, Special Writer, Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine

I’m diabetic. I have type-2 diabetes. At 53, I’ve battled it for 22 years now. I’m typing this because I’m sorry to say that I’ve reached a dubious stage in this disease.

Learn more about the link between diabetes and wound care--Encompass Healthcare, Michigan

Learn more about the link between diabetes and wound care–Encompass Healthcare, Michigan

I’m where the disease is making its presence known at the farthest reaches of my body. The tips of my toes. The soles of my feet. Places beyond the larger arteries to the smallest capillaries. Diabetes lives there and loves “de-nerving” those extremities.



Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

We all know that smoking is bad for you. In fact, it’s just about the worst thing you can do to your body.  Over 4,000 compounds are found in cigarette smoke and many of them are toxic and carcinogenic; that means they cause cancer!  To make matters worse, smoking is responsible for several other diseases, such as respiratory illnesses and heart disease.

Smoking delays wound healing

Smoking delays wound healing

Over 440,000 people in the USA die because of smoking each year. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $92 billion are costs each year from lost productivity resulting from smoking-related deaths. (source: Medical News Today)

Smoking also slows down wound-healing too. For example, burn wounds take longer to heal on a smoker according to a recent article published in Advances In Skin and Wound Care.  The literature shows that smoking decreases tissue oxygenation and metabolism temporarily. That means oxygen can’t get to the wound to heal it.

Tobacco use has also been linked to prolonged healing time and greater risk for complications in orthopaedic and other surgeries, according to a new study presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).  So if you’re hoping for a speedy recovery from that recent hip surgery, put down the smokes!

And don’t be fooled by the new E-Cigarettes.  With nicotine itself containing over 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which are cancerous, the nicotine levels in E-Cigarettes tend to be around 10-15% higher than those found in a regular cigarette.

So, it’s pretty clear that nicotine slows wound healing by impeding tissue oxygenation and a whole bunch of other really awful effects. Put down the nicotine and enjoy a healthier lifestyle!


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Treating Lymphedema Successfully

Posted on: May 29th, 2013 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments


Treating lymphedema successfully in our outpatient setting has allowed patient M. Silver to begin to heal his bilateral, lower extremity swelling (photo above is not M. Silver, but rather an example of lower extremity lymphedema.)  M. Silver has venous insufficiency, swelling in his legs, and has developed an ulcer between his 1st and 2nd toe, resulting in a fungal infection.

Treatment began with compression therapy, applied by Julia, our certified, manual, lymphedemic physical therapist, an Unna Boot, an increase in his diruetics (medicine to reduce swelling,) an oral fungal pill called Lamisil, and a special powder called Nystatin (both used to treat the fungus.)

M.Silver has been here for only 1 week and he is already improving, estimating his full treatment at about 2-4 weeks total.  All in our outpatient setting, so M.Silver can get his treatment, get healed, and get on with his life.

Treating lymphedema successfully can be achieved if all of the underlying conditions causing lymphedema are addressed.

They called me “Wounddoc.”

Posted on: March 14th, 2013 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

They called me “wounddoc,” long before I became a doctor.

The residents in my college dorm called me “Wounddoc” because I had every kind of bandage, ointment and over-the-counter medicine known to man. Gauze, ACE bandages, steri-strips, surgical tape, splints — I practically ran an urgent care out of my dorm room.  (more…)

Winning the Wound Care War

Posted on: February 10th, 2012 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments


Winning the wound care war care leads us into the wonderful world of healing. Here, you’ll learn how utterly amazing your body functions to repair itself, how it’s always ready to initiate the healing process and how we can intervene when that process goes awry. (more…)


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