CALL NOW (337) 508-1000

(337) 508-1000

Ischemic Ulcers associated with Diabetes

Brett Cascio, M.D.

Ischemic Ulcers associated with Diabetes

Ischemic Ulcers associated with Diabetes

Ischemic Ulcers associated with Diabetes?

An ischemic ulcer is a break or opening in the skin occurs due to a reduced blood flow to the area. This article takes a brief look at ischemic ulcers that are associated with diabetes mellitus.

What causes Ischemic Ulcers associated with Diabetes?

The initial opening of the ulcer may be caused due to injury. However, the failure to heal is due to an insufficient blood supply. The reduced blood supply is caused by peripheral arterial disease, which can be due to underlying diabetes mellitus.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Patients with ischemic ulcers generally have symptoms of peripheral arterial disease. These can include cold feet, pale skin, loss of hair on the legs, and the presence of an ulcer. On examination, the foot pulses are very weak, and the ulcer appears raw, with occasional signs of an infection.

In patients with diabetes, ischemic ulcers are diagnosed by their clinical appearance and the lack of strong peripheral pulses. An ankle brachial pressure index test will reveal the presence of poor blood flow to the ulcer.

Additional tests, such as an x-ray, may be performed to ensure the ulcer has not extended deep enough to involve the underlying bone.

How are Ischemic Ulcers associated with Diabetes treated?

It is essential that blood sugars are adequately controlled through diet and drug treatment. Patients may be advised to rest and wear comfortable, customized footwear that does not irritate the ulcer in any way. Foot hygiene is also important, and the ischemic ulcer should be kept clean. Special dressings are available to ensure the wound remains sterile so that no infections develop.

In the event of the development of an infection, antibiotic treatment may be required. In more severe cases of ischemic ulcers, surgical treatments such as an arterial bypass may need to be performed to improve blood flow to the peripheries. Sometimes, high-pressure oxygen, or hyperbaric oxygen, treatment may be useful. If the ischemic ulcer is in a steady state and is clean, skin grafts or tissue grafts may be applied as treatment.

Preventing Complications

Certain simple steps can be followed to prevent complications of ischemic foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. These include carefully inspecting the foot ulcer every day, cleaning the ulcer with soap and water, wearing comfortable footwear and applying a moisturizer regularly. The most important measure is to maintain optimal blood sugar levels in the blood. Patients with this condition are strongly advised to stop smoking.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Cascio, medical director of Sports Medicine at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, specializes in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.



Brett Cascio M.D.


In the News

Media & Downloads

Video Library

Contact Us

Shoulder pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. A full diagnosis of your symptoms will help address the underlying problem.



Shoulder Anatomy

Shoulder Conditions

Shoulder Treatments

What is a Shoulder Surgeon?

Dr. Cascio will work with you to perform the necessary exams and tests to diagnose the source of your hip pain and then provide you with your options.



Hip Anatomy

Hip Conditions

Hip Treatments

What is a Hip Surgeon?



Knee pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats knee pain and injury.



Knee Anatomy

Knee Conditions

Knee Treatments

What is a Knee Surgeon?



Elbow pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats elbow pain and injury.



Elbow Anatomy

Elbow Conditions

Elbow Treatments



Ankle pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats ankle pain and injury.



Foot & Ankle Anatomy

Foot & Ankle Conditions

Foot & Ankle Treatments

What is a Foot & Ankle Surgeon?



Worker’s Comp injuries need a doctor with the special training and experience to handle these complex problems. When you can’t work, the stress of life is compounded.   Dr. Cascio and his team have years of experience dealing with both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of on the job Injuries.

  Learn More