A podiatrist at Frisbie Memorial Hospital has found a way to better treat the ulcerated wounds that eventually plague patients with diabetes. The wounds can be so severe that sometimes they don't heal and amputations are required. Dr. Scott Gerry is making adaptations to commonly used casts that he says help patients heal five times faster. "The purpose of a total contact cast on the lower extremity is to place all the pressure of walking on the lower leg and not on the foot," Gerry said. "A cast of this type has been around for decades, and while 70 percent of the ulcerated wounds should be treated using one, only about 6 percent are."
|Dr. Scott Gerry
Still, Gerry took it a step further, believing he could improve on the "off-the-shelf" ready-made cast commonly used. "I made modifications that added padding to the underside of the cast, and built up the outside," Gerry said. "I did this to take pressure off the wound so it will heal faster. I apply padding to the patient's foot with a cut-out area for the wound using material called diabetasheet. After, I apply the modified cast with a cut-out for the wound there, too." Final padding and shielding of the wound results in the patient's weight being placed on the cylinder of the cast, not on the wound. In some cases, he said, people can return to work while the healing is taking place.
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.