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Offloading (Wound Protection)
What is offloading?
Offloading refers to minimizing or removing weight placed on the foot to help prevent and heal ulcers, particularly those caused by poor circulation to the feet due to diabetes. Offloading can be done by using a wheelchair or crutches, or through more practical means for the patient such as total contact casts (TCC) or removable cast walkers. The idea is to protect your wound from getting worse or becoming infected because of added weight on the area.
Ways of offloading to prevent and heal foot wounds
If using crutches or a wheelchair interferes too much with your everyday life, you may opt for a TCC or a removable cast walker.
A TCC evenly distributes weight across the entire sole of your foot so that a diabetic ulcer can heal without added weight strain.
A removable cast walker also helps redistribute weight and also allows you to easily dress and inspect your wound.
In addition to TCCs and removable cast walkers, there are special shoes and other types of footwear that help distribute your weight to prevent ulcers or help existing wounds heal.
If you have recurring foot ulcers or other diabetes-related foot problems, be sure to work with your physician to get the best foot care and protection available.