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Surgery and Treatment for Non-Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Updated on May 19, 2017
Venkatachari M profile image

Venkat passed through lots of ups and downs in life with frequent health issues of family members, gained much experience in tackling them.

Getting treated for Foot Ulcers

Foot ulcers, that too below your feet, are very painful and discomforting to your daily routine. You can't walk properly as you experience extreme pain even if your foot gets a simple jolt or gets placed carelessly while walking. So, you can't perform your tasks involving standing or walking positions.

Getting a minor surgery and some proper medical treatment can provide you much relief within a short period of time. I have been suffering from the ulcers for years with the fear of undergoing an operation. But, now I realized that it is a very simple and minor surgery if the ulcers are not too much deep-rooted into the feet. This realization occurred because of the surgery underwent by me without further prolongation of the hesitation or fear.

Now, let me narrate my own experiences of undergoing the surgery in both my feet that developed two ulcers each and the further medical treatment that I got.

Foot Ulcers

The ulcers in my foot.
The ulcers in my foot.

Ulcer Meaning and Causes for Ulcers

An ulcer is a painful, hurting sore which generally develops on the outer surface or on the inner surface of your skin causing much tension to your body. Ulcers generally develop due to some break in the skin while performing your daily activities or due to a blood clot and excessive pressure exerted on a certain point of your body. It develops into an ulcer if you do not immediately notice the open sore and get it treated. The area becomes infected due to the breaking of the skin that gets contaminated very quickly. Damaged nerves, tight fittings, and accumulation of bacteria cause severe ulcers.

How the Foot Ulcer started in my case

It was due to some carelessness during the rainy season while living in a flooded locality many years back that I caught some infection in my feet which fact was not known to me for many months (years) because of my habit of wearing shoes those years.

That too, I had to wear tight shoes because of my wide toes. No exact fitting shoes of my foot size were available at the prices that were affordable to me.

Some sand or pebbles in the mud might have entered into my wet shoes and cut open the skin of my feet. Due to continued wearing of the shoes for long hours in that wet condition for months might have infected my feet. When I noticed some pain in my feet with small dark spots, I consulted a Doctor after some months and took some antibiotic medicines. The problem looked solved for some period and I ignored the black spots for many years and continued wearing the shoes.

Even if I experienced pain, I became habituated to it. After many years that those black spots grew into some visible ulcers creating much tension in my daily activities.

Consulting the Doctor and taking Appointment for Surgery

Only recently that I consulted the Endocrinologist with my problem and that too on the advice of my Cardiologist.

I am getting treatment from a Senior Consultant Cardiologist for my BP and minor heart problems for the last some years. Recently, I was experiencing swelling in my legs since the last 5 months besides the foot ulcer problem which has become unbearable to me since one year. I thought the swelling in feet and the ulcer problem might be inter-linked. So, I informed the Doctor about my ulcers in the feet. He looked at them and got serious that I was bearing them since so long. He referred me to a surgeon who treats for the foot ulcers, whether diabetic or non-diabetic. He asked me to consult him and get the surgery done for the ulcers immediately even though they are not related to the swelling of my feet and legs.

So, after 3, 4 days, I met the ulcers Doctor and showed him my feet. The Doctor, who is an Endocrinologist owning his own Hospital, advised me to go through a minor surgery in both of my legs to get rid of those ulcers permanently. He assured me that it requires only a simple operation which takes hardly 5 minutes each foot and with no pain at all as I will be injected with a mild local anesthetic injection. So, I made up my mind to go through it and fixed a date for the surgery to one leg for the time being telling him that the other leg will be got done the next month. As I have to do all the work at home, I can't afford both legs got operated at the same time and take bed rest for a long duration. That is why I got the surgery done for each foot in two different periods.

Making Preparations for the Ulcer Surgery

You need to make some preparations for going through the surgery.

  1. The first thing to do is to make up your mind well prepared for going through the surgery fully aware of the initial pain that you may have to face during surgery and the fact that you will not be in a position to perform your functions properly during the recovery period.
  2. Now, after making up the mind, you need to plan for the jobs that you may need to execute within the time period available before getting operated. These tasks are those that you only can perform and nobody else can be depended upon. So, you will fix the date of surgery according to this schedule only.
  3. For other things which can be got done through your family members and friends, you may not need to worry that much as you can get the work done as and when it becomes due. For example, I had to get my work mostly done through my son who is already busy with his own work and we are the only two persons presently in my house. So, I had to get the food purchased from outside both times daily for 5 days and take his help in serving the food to me, and for preparing coffee, tea, etc. He kept water at my reach in a jug and the medicines, phone, newspaper, and other things nearer to me so that I need not walk again and again for these things. Only for bathroom and toilet, I had to put some efforts with the support of walls as I was advised not put pressure on the foot for at least 2, 3 days. Thereafter, I can walk in and around the house by wearing the special diabetic shoes.
  4. You may think of other priorities and tasks according to your schedule so as to be well-prepared for a tension-free treatment.

Operated Ulcers Healing

Left foot operated ulcer healing as on 8th day.
Left foot operated ulcer healing as on 8th day.
The operated left foot completely healed after 15 days
The operated left foot completely healed after 15 days
Right foot operated position as on the 10th day.
Right foot operated position as on the 10th day.

Your opinion matters please

Did you have any experience with ulcer patients?

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The Ulcer Surgery Procedure

  • Before taking you to the operation room, an allergy test is conducted by injecting a sample injection into your forearm to test whether your body is not allergic to penicillin and other injections that may need to be administered during surgery. This is done one hour or 30 minutes before the surgery.
  • After satisfying that it is okay with no rashes or pimples developing around the tested skin, you will be taken to the operation room and asked to lie down on the bed with your foot placed on an elevated ridge of the bed.
  • Your foot ulcer and its surrounding portions are neatly cleaned by the nurse with saline (sodium chloride) water and made ready for the surgeon to operate.
  • The surgeon will inject some local anesthesia at the point of ulcer telling you that it is simply a small injection to get rid of pain during the surgery. You may experience like some needle is being pierced into the foot for a minute or so.
  • Even while he is injecting the injection, it seems that the surgeon starts performing his surgery simultaneously and by the time you may try to realize what is happening, he may announce that the surgery is over and will wish you Goodluck.
  • Then, the surgeon will leave the room and the nurse will dress your foot with bandage applying some lotion or cream to the operated place.
  • You are required to keep lying on the bed for some more time to check that no bleeding is there.
  • Thereafter, you will be removed to another bed in a room and required to rest there for about one more hour so as to confirm that no bleeding is happening and you can move safely if you want immediate discharge.

Ulcer Surgery Healing Time

  • The healing time after undergoing the surgery depends on the seriousness of the problem and the nature of your body as well as on the medication and your food habits.
  • As per my experience, I could walk comfortably in the rooms from the 3rd day onwards.
  • The medicines are generally prescribed for 5 days. Some Doctors may prescribe it for 3 days and then extend for another 3 days, making it 6 days.
  • You need to wear the bandage for at least 7 days and may extend to 10 or 15 days depending upon the ulcer.
  • For my first leg, I discontinued dressing the foot after 10 days itself. But, the dressing of the second foot that is operated on 5th May is still continuing as on today, the 13th day after surgery. I hope it may take 15 days or so to cure.

Footwear for Ulcer Feet

The soft comfortable footwear prescribed for my feet which are specially designed by hollowing out a portion of base at the front side of shoes to fit under my ulcerated portion of the feet that put lesser pressure on the sensitive portion.
The soft comfortable footwear prescribed for my feet which are specially designed by hollowing out a portion of base at the front side of shoes to fit under my ulcerated portion of the feet that put lesser pressure on the sensitive portion.

Ulcer Surgery Medication Side Effects and Complications

There can be some side effects or complications that may be faced by you while being treated after the surgery. It is not necessarily a problem with every case. Some rare incidents may occur due to the physiology or nature of your body.

  • Generally, the medication prescribed can cause diarrhea or loose motions in some cases. This happened to me during my first surgery. The medicine power might have been of high power dosage and I caught loose motions from the 3rd day. I have been prescribed with Dalacin C 300mg, ACECLO Plus, and Nexpro RD 40mg medication at that time. When I reported to the doctor about my loose motions, I was asked to stop the medicine on the 5th day afternoon instead continuing it for 6 days.
  • Sometimes, you may experience some itching or rashes also due to the heat of the medicines. I had to face skin rashes in my arm on the 8th day and I informed the doctor immediately. He advised me to take ATARAX 10mg tablets once daily for 3 days to get rid of the rashes and they vanished on the second day itself.
  • During my second foot surgery, I did not face any side effects of the treatment. They have changed my medication to Monocef O 200mg, ACECLO Plus, and PAN 40 and prescribed that medication only for a 5-day period.

About Foot Ulcer Treatment video

The below video gives more stress on Diabetic foot ulcers. But, it is equally applicable for non-diabetic foot ulcers also. So, you need to watch at these instructions and follow the tips carefully to give a better treatment for your feet and get rid of the ulcers and other related complications.

Foot Ulcer facts and treatment

Top Facts to remember while getting the Ulcer Surgery

  • Better keep in touch with Doctor when suffering from an ulcer.
  • Inform the Doctor about all your present and other related previous health issues and treatments received.
  • When he advises for the surgery, it is better to go through it as soon as possible instead of lingering and making it complicated.
  • Fix your schedule of tasks to be performed and plan for a smart way of executing them during your ailment period.
  • You need to wear the bandage till complete curation of the operated part. It should be carefully protected from getting wet or infected. Get the dressing changed daily or as per instructions of the Doctor.
  • If you experience any problems or complications like diarrhea, itching, rashes in the skin, dizziness, etc., stop the medicine and consult the Doctor immediately and do as per his advice.
  • It is better to wear some footwear even in your house and for bathrooms as the ulcer prone feet are mostly sensitive to water, dust, coldness, and marble floors.

Comments

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    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 6 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      I am very sorry to hear that, Audrey. It would be a shocking experience. I feel very sad for him.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      My dear father developed ulcers on the bottom of his foot due to diabetes. I remember the day gangrene formed turning his foot black. The result was an amputation of the leg above the knee.

      Your hub is tremendous! Full of information and photos. Thank you so much.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 8 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      True, RadhikaSri. Foot ulcers happen due to the constant contact with waters that too dirty water. I had to walk in rain waters constantly near Lanka in Varanasi during the entire rain season to cross the Ganges and reach my office on the other side (Chunar). That was the major cause of my ulcers. Some cases may be due to Diabetes also. One needs to maintain most cleanliness in all such cases, besides getting treatment.

      Thanks for your nice comment.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 months ago from Mumbai,India

      Foot ulcer is common in women who have to stand in water for a very long time. Glad to hear that you got it healed up. You have presented a wonderful hub here on your experience with this disease. Take care

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, Jackie. Getting older normally involves facing with some problem or other as the body becomes very weak in responding to infections and viruses. We need to depend on some medicine or other along with some diet control and exercises.

      Thanks for your nice comment and the blessings. Wish you a pleasant life with your family.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

      So pleased to hear you will heal from this. I can only imagine the terrible pain for so very long.

      I too had a problem with swelling and a very long time getting any blood pressure medicines to work and take the fluid away. Getting older is sure no fun but no way around it is there?

      Blessings to you for any problems that may come your way.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, Ruby. Diabetic ulcers are more serious and they keep returning even after surgery. I am thankful that I do not suffer from Diabetes. Even then, the doctors advised me to be careful and always wear the footwear that is very soft and that I should wear them even in my house. So, I am keeping two pairs. One for wearing solely inside the house and the other for going out.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      An interesting and educational hub. The foot ulcers look painful, it's good that you're not a diabetic.....

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      Yes, I remember now about the boy. Your Dr's plans seems solid. Hari Om!

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Manatita, your deep analysis of the symptoms and curing options is of much value and useful in my case. Your advice is welcome. But, I believe that my Doctor is also a good professional one and he is treating it well. Presently I have no swelling in the legs. He is giving me presently one medicine named Olmetrack H 40 which is composed of Olmesartan Medoxomil 40 mg and Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg. Thiazide is for controlling the swelling problem, I think. Besides this, I am taking three more tablets, all once daily, for heart and cholesterol control. So, I hope I am being well treated and need no extra medication.

      I am not the bread winner. My younger son is the winner here. He is well placed to earn enough for me and my elder son. So, there is no financial problem for me. My elder son is mentally disturbed and very weak mentally since some years. He can't work in any company as he cannot communicate with people. He doubts everybody and keeps secluded. My only problem is with his mental condition and about their marriages.

      Thanks for your concern and helping nature. You may communicate with me through emails.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      You son is right. We would also strengthen your left ventricles and give you a diuretic, depending on your history. They would reduce the swelling in the feet and deal with the congestion - the build-up of fluids in the body.

      Frusemide is good, but strong, it will make you 'pee' a lot. So you need bananas to replace the lost potassium and perhaps regular blood tests. I have faith in Indian doctors, though. What are yours like?

      Anything ending with 'Pril' may be useful. Lisinopril, ramipril, perindopril, captopril ... we call them ACE's, but they can give noctural coughs. I take perindopril for my blood pressure.

      If your BP is normal then they may look at something else. Very hard if your son is so young and you are the bread winner. Remind me, what do you do? I pray for Lord Krishna's blessings on your behalf, but hey, help Him. Wear decent shoes and rest when you can.

      Send me your address and I'll send you a good multivite. I believe that you will find it in India, just that every little bit helps and so let me know.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Manatita, my Bro, I am very glad to see your lengthy comment filled with concern and warmth.

      My case was not diabetic. But, it should have been got treated much earlier. I lingered it too long. But, now I got rid of this problem and am much relieved.

      My swollen feet are due to the heart problem and inconsistent blood circulation. Doctors told that I should keep my feet elevated while sleeping and should not sit or stand for long durations.

      I will try to keep the toenails cut short and clean. Thanks for the useful tips offered by you. I will take those zinc and vitamin c tablets. My son advises me to eat fruits regularly and reduce work.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Flourish Anyway and Linda Crampton,

      Thanks for the concern and nice comments by both of you. I was avoiding the surgery for much time. But, now that I have gone through it, I am feeling much relaxed and pleasant. I will be okay within some more days.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, Demas. Mine are not corns. They are just the same as Diabetic Ulcers, even though I didn't have diabetes. They developed due to infection and carelessness. Now, after the surgery, I am feeling much relief.

      Thanks for the nice comment. I like to read your remaining episodes of the biographic in due course.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 5 months ago from london

      A very helpful article not only for you but for others who may have the problem, or diabetes and bad circulation, which could lead to this.

      Your heart condition would most likely be responsible for the swollen and tender feet and this can have a knock-on effect in terms of making your feet more fragile. This can consequently aggravate the problem.

      Your feet and the ulcers looked awful! Men tend to delay seeking help and this would not have helped, bearing in mind the wearing of tight-fitting shoes for long periods and suffering for years. Vascular problems (bad veins, bad arteries or if you like poor blood flow) and diabetes won't help.

      It is good to see a chiropodist (podiatrist) to have your toenails seen to. Sooner rather than later, or perhaps an orthopaedic surgeon can help, as podiatrists tend to be expensive. Keep your toe nails short and clean. Watch your nutrition and increase your vit C and zinc. You can get a lot from pumpkin seeds.

      If your problem is related to circulation or diabetes, it can return, so be vigilant and careful. I like the idea of testing you for allergies, we just ask questions here in London and find out generally, only after the patient has had a reaction not known before. The penicillins are a common one and yes, the diarrhoea can also be a problem.

      We say here in the UK that it is better to have a full course which is seven days, although I understand that you did have difficulties.

      Yes, domestic and social duties can be a problem but you have a great son. How old is he? One way of dealing with the finance for you and me of senior age is to have most things on a direct debit with the bank, only if you are like me, we can sometimes overspend and suddenly find ourselves in trouble. (chuckle)

      You share your story so sincerely. This is a great piece of selfless offering and indeed worthy of you Ji. Be very careful; balance your diet and get in the Vit C, essential oils, zinc and other colloidal minerals. I can send you a multi vitamin should you need one. Much Love, my brother. Take good care. I wish you Guru's Grace.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and informative article. I hope the surgery is very helpful for you and that you experience no more pain.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      Both your ulcers and those in the video look so painful. I'm glad you finally sought treatment and correction of this problem. Happy healing.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      This is not to be confused with corns. They can be painful too, if untreated. Corns may repeat and may require in-office surgery and care.

      While you are "laid up" I have added the links to Part II through Part V of the biography you were having difficulty finding. They are now listed at the end of Part I. Happy reading, and a swift recovery.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thank you, Larry. I have tried it my best to make it useful for others who may like to acquire some basic information before going through such surgery or treatment for ulcers.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 5 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very informative.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Ketan Pande,

      You seem new here and I welcome you to the HP community. Your interests are good. Keep up sharing your thoughts and experiences. Thanks for the visit and nice comment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, Bill. It is somewhat painful and had to bear it for some years, might be due to God's will or my own postponement of the surgery and treatment. I hope to get well within a week or so now. Thanks for your concern and the blessings.

    • ketan pande profile image

      Ketan Pande 5 months ago from Nagpur

      It looks painful. Get well soon.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that definitely looks painful. I am happy to hear you should be completely healed soon. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and blessings to you always.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      True, Chitrangada. I should have got it treated much earlier. Anyhow, I got them operated now and feeling better now. By the end of this month, I hope I will be completely fine.

      Thanks for your concern and nice comment.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This looks scary ! It must have been very painful and discomforting. This kind of ulcer can be so dangerous and can also lead to dangerous infections. It's good that you are getting it treated and I think you should have got it done much earlier. Wish you speedy recovery and you must take care of your health.

      I am sure others with the same problem will be benefitted by your hub. Thanks for sharing!