What Are Treatment Options for Diabetic Leg Ulcers?


Quick Answer

The treatment options for diabetic leg ulcers include compression therapy, medications that improve blood flow, casting therapy, removing infected tissue and surgical restoration of affected blood vessels, according to Cleveland Clinic. In all cases, doctors recommend keeping the ulcers clean and moist to promote healing.

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Full Answer

The appropriate treatment for diabetic leg ulcers depends on the type and severity of the ulcers, maintains Cleveland Clinic. Ulcers caused primarily by hypertension respond well to compression therapy with compression stockings or multilayered compression bandages. Regularly elevating the legs also improves circulation. Taking aspirin to improve blood flow and using diuretics to decrease water retention may help.

Ulcers caused by neuropathy are more likely to require mechanical removal of infected tissue and foot casting for full pressure relief, states Cleveland Clinic. Prescription antibiotics decrease the risk of the spread of infection. Preventive care involves tightly controlling blood sugar to prevent further damage.

Surgery is most effective when the leg ulcers are caused by plaque build-up in the arteries according to the Cleveland Clinic. This type of diabetic leg ulcer is painful and unlikely to heal without surgery or other interventions to increase blood flow. Revascularization restores blood flow to damaged arteries mechanically with catheters, balloons or lasers to help patients avoid future ulcers.

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