Why Are Diabetic Foot Ulcers a Problem?

Foot ulcers are a common problem for patients with diabetes. Because diabetes often affects the nerves in the legs and feet ulcers are frequently painless. This might sound like a good thing, but actually it’s a significant problem because patients can be unaware that they’ve injured their foot (e.g. a blister from poorly fitting shoes, or broken skin from stepping on something sharp) which can lead to an ulcer forming. Because it doesn’t hurt, patients may also continue to walk on the ulcer rather than reducing the pressure on it, which can delay healing.

Long-lasting ulcers can be a severe disability and have a serious impact on your quality of life and relationships. You may find your situation distressing and driving, housework, leisure activities and employment can become difficult or impossible.

Ulcers that don’t heal can ultimately lead to gangrene and infection and sometimes the only way to stop this is to amputate part or all of the foot and lower leg.

Can Diabetic Foot Ulcers be Prevented?

Good foot care and regular assessment by a doctor or nurse can help to prevent diabetic foot ulcers. If you have diabetes you must inspect your feet regularly and often, or ask someone else to do it if you can’t. Don’t ignore any signs of blisters, cuts or other tissue damage. Bring them to the attention of your doctor or nurse as soon as possible.

Trim your toenails carefully. Make sure that your shoes are a good fit and provide good support and protection. Don’t forget that you may not be able to feel if shoes pinch so have your feet measured to be sure. Depending on your needs, your doctor may recommend custom shoes for you. Wear soft, cushioning socks and make sure that any elastic in them isn’t so tight it might restrict your circulation.

How Can PulseFlowDF Help Me?

Taking regular care of your feet, undergoing treatment promptly and following medical advice carefully can prevent ulcers entirely, or mean that they heal well if they do occur.

Sometimes, however, ulcers can be very slow to heal and if you are affected in this way then your doctor may recommend treatment with PulseFlowDF. PulseFlowDF combines two well-established therapies in one device to reduce the pressure on your ulcer and improve the blood flow to it.

"...it certainly is speeding up the healing of my ulcer (so far, there has been a weekly improvement in its condition) and it makes absolutely no difference to my mobility (I can still walk at my normal pace - which is probably faster than average)..."

Patient 'P'

How Does PulseflowDF Work?

PulseFlowDF consists of a pair of footwear with a device fitted to either the right or left leg (as required) to reduce (offload) the pressure on your ulcer and repeatedly pump the veins in your foot to help your blood flow.

The offloader restricts the movement in your leg, reducing the stress on your foot and spreading the pressures created by standing and walking away from your ulcer. The pump sits under the arch of your foot and activates every 20 seconds to press on your blood vessels and push blood around your system.

What Does PulseFlowDF Treatment Involve?

If your doctor decides that PulseFlowDF is right for you then you will be given specific instructions for its use, customised to your own personal needs. Typically PulseFlowDF is worn from getting up in the morning until bedtime when it can be taken off and recharged ready for use again the following morning. Treatment usually lasts for up to 12 weeks.

It’s very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how to use PulseFlowDF and read the instructions that come with the device carefully. Not doing so can reduce the likelihood of your ulcer healing.

Once treatment is completed the device mechanism is removed and you can keep wearing the footwear, which are designed to help protect you against future ulcers.

How can I get PulseFlowDF?

If you think that PulseFlowDF might be right for you then, in the first instance, discuss it with your doctor, nurse or footcare specialist.

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