An ulceration is a full thickness wound that fails to heal unless some medical or surgical intervention is taken. An ulcer may become secondarily infected if not treated making it a more serious condition.
Symptoms of an ulcer is simply an open wound. If there is some neuropathypresent, there may not be pain associated with it. If infected there may be redness, swelling, fevers, and chills along with it. Ulcers can go unnoticed if your feet are not inspected regularly.
Causes of an ulcer are varied. More commonly a patient presents with an ulcer that has some degree of neuropathy. There is usually a pressure point caused by either the bone structure, shoewear, or both.
Prevention is aimed at detecting pressure points before break down of the skin where ulcerations would most likely develop. This can be achieved with shoewear modifications, orthotics, padding, or strapping techniques.
Diagnosis of an ulceration is simply by an inspection of the foot. The underlying cause of having an ulcer needs to be addressed further for adequate treatment. X-rays are commonly used to evaluate the foot structure and determine any bone damage or disruption.
Surgery may be indicated for ulcerations to treat underlying bone conditions or for a more extensive debridement.