Foot issues a big concern for diabetics

Important for diabetics to pay attention to feet, legs

Michael Winfrey learned he was diabetic at age 14.

"Diabetes is probably one of the best diseases and the worst diseases, because you can live your entire life but it affects every part of your body," said the Cedar Hill youth pastor.

Severe diabetic ulcers on his right foot caused Winfrey so much pain that it became hard to walk.

"The doctor said he was going to do an amputation -- and I was like, 'No I better get a second opinion,'" recalled Winfrey.

He went to the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Centers at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

"We treat non-healing wounds, chronic wounds that have not healed in two to three weeks," explained Dr. Basit Ali.

Dr. Ali said ignoring wounds like Winfrey's can eventually lead to amputations in some cases for diabetics. Luckily, it wasn't too late to save Winfrey's right foot.

"Then I would’ve been a double amputee instead of a single amputee," said Winfrey, whose similar experience seven years ago already cost him his left foot.

"Basically it was the same thing," Winfrey told WFAA. "I had an ulcer on the bottom that continued to get worse."

This time would be different. First, doctors told Winfrey to get his diabetes under control. He received antibiotics for infection in his bones. And he had standing weekly appointments for two special treatments, including wound debridements.

"It removes all the non-healing, non-viable tissue from the wound surface," said Dr. Ali. "When you do that manually, you speed up the healing process and you allow for normal tissue to grow.”

The second part of Winfrey's treatment was hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

"To a diabetic, that increases the circulation way down in the tissues – that’s where diabetes affects you the most," explained Dr. Ali.

After 40 sessions, Winfrey is celebrating. His right foot is almost completely healed.

"All of my right shoes are brand new, so they’re going to have a coming out party in two weeks to celebrate being able to finally be on my foot.”

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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