After a toe amputation, it is important to properly care for the wound. An amputation wound can often be challenging to heal and the risk of infection high because an open wound is susceptible to germs and bacteria. If an infection cannot be stopped or spreads to other parts of the body, serious complications can develop. Our Texas wound care podiatrists explain how to care for your amputation wound.
Common Reasons for Toe Amputations
The leading cause of toe amputation is diabetes. Both peripheral artery disease and diabetic neuropathy can increase the risk of amputation. This can be due to poor blood circulation to a toe or limb, causing tissue to die and infection to develop. To stop the infection from spreading, amputation may be needed.
Other Reasons for a Toe Amputation
- A crushing injury or trauma to the toe
- An infection or gangrene
- A tumor
- A toe deformity
Complications From Amputation Wounds
After an amputation, it may take up to two months for the wound to heal. If a wound does not heal properly, it can increase your risk of severe complications such as infection. Seeing a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem can help prevent severe complications from developing.
Signs of Infection Following an Amputation
- Pain or tenderness
- Redness or warmth
- Yellow or white drainage
Signs That Indicate the Need for Immediate Medical Attention
- Foul odor coming from the wound
- Swollen glands
- Thick brown discharge or excessive bleeding from the wound
- Fever or chills
- Black tissue around the wound indicating gangrene
- Pain that does not respond to medication
If a wound has become infected, the infection can spread to surrounding tissue or bone. Treating an infection in its earliest stages is important before it becomes severe and causes complications that could result in death.
Toe Amputation Care Tips From Our Texas Podiatrists
It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions following a toe amputation to prevent infection and allow the site to heal properly. To avoid problems, there are various care tips a podiatrist may recommend.
Caring for Your Amputation Wound
- Keep the area clean by washing it daily with mild soap and warm water.
- Dry the area thoroughly after washing.
- Keep the wound covered with a bandage or dressing.
- Do not use any scented lotions or alcohol-based products on the skin.
- Check the amputation site daily for signs of infection or other abnormalities.
- Wear a surgical shoe or other device to keep pressure off the wound as it heals.
- Eat a healthy diet and maintain blood glucose levels in order to promote healing.
- Contact your podiatrist at the first sign of a problem.
There are many ways to adapt to life after losing a toe to amputation. You may benefit from physical therapy and specific exercises that can help strengthen the other toes in order to regain balance and stability while walking or running. In addition, a podiatrist can recommend special shoes such as orthotics that can be used to provide support where needed. For athletes, there are prosthetics available that can keep you in your sport even without a toe.
Contact Our Experienced Texas Wound Care Podiatrists
If you have questions about wound care after a toe amputation, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation today. We can answer your questions and create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient online form or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.