K9 - Orthopaedic Walking Aid
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Walking Aid in Motion

Injuries - Diabetic Ulcer

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diabetic ulcerA leg ulcer is a wound on the lower leg that does not to heal. It appears as shallow holes or craters in the leg which can vary in colour, size and depth. They may be extremely painful and in some cases give off an unpleasant smell. These are the most common types of leg ulcers:

Venous ulcers
Venous Ulcers are the most common. They usually occur halfway up the calf and down to just below the ankle and lead to legs which are swollen and tender to touch. The skin might feel dry and itchy and have mottled brown or black staining. The legs may become painful when sitting down. Certain conditions are also linked with the development of venous leg ulcers including:

High Blood Pressure
Varicose Veins
Fractures or Injuries
Multiple Pregnancies
Sitting or standing for long periods
Previous Surgery

Arterial Ulcers
Arterial Ulcers are the result of arterial disease and usually to occur on the foot and lower part of the leg. The foot may be pale or appear a dusky red colour and will feel cold and painful, particularly at night in bed. The pain can often be relieved when the legs are lowered. Certain conditions are also linked with the development of arterial ulcers.

A high fat/cholesterol diet
High blood pressure
A history of heart disease
Rheumatoid arthritis

Diabetic ulcers 
Diabetic Ulcers are the result of diabetes. This is because atherosclerosis is much more likely to occur with diabetes. Diabetic ulcers are more common on the foot. Diabetic ulcers may occur in these circumstances:

Poor dietary control of the diabetes
Not taking the correct medication
Badly fitting shoes
Poor care of the feet

When you see your doctor or nurse you will be examined and assessed because the treatment for venous and arterial ulcers is different and the doctor or nurse must be sure what type of ulcer you have. Treatment will include dressings to the wound. Ideally a dressing will be selected to help heal the ulcer. External pressure on the leg helps to heal the ulcer by increasing the calf muscle pump action and reducing swelling in the leg.

Avoidance of weight bearing whenever possible is the the best way to achieve rapid healing. Avoidance of weight bearing is obtained with most certainty by complete bed rest, but this is often not practicable. As an alternative, walking with crutches to avoid weight bearing on the ulcer area is often a poor substitute because it is difficult for the patient not to occasionally put weight on the affected foot, and it also often results in excessive pressure being placed on the unaffected foot.

The Orthopaedic Leg Trolley also has the added advantage that it can be used as a foot rest to support the foot when sitting, and it is possible to place the foot in such a way as to avoid heel pressure when a heel ulcer is present.

If you would like further details on the Orthopaedic Leg Trolley please contact us.

I suffer from a diabetic ulcer on the ball of my foot by my right big toe, which had become infected: K9 is the ideal method of motivation for me to keep my right foot away from contact with the ground. I have used it and have had admiring and interested comments from the Podiatry Department at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, and from the Diabetic Foot Clinic at King's College Hospital, London, to both of whom I have supplied copies of your leaflets.

R B Moore


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John REID & Sons Ltd

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Registred Address: Strucsteel House, 6-106 Reid St, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 2BT, England
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E-mail: k9@reidsteel.co.uk