The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

New Foot Spray Shows Promise in Treating Diabetic Foot Wounds

Posted by on Monday, September 7th, 2015

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Diabetic foot ulcers cost America $1.9 billion per year in emergency room care alone.1http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/849592 More than 1 million cases are treated here each year, with devastating consequences. Of those followed after treatment, 2% died, 10% suffered severe infection, and more than 10% required limb amputation.

Given all the incredible minds in science and the rapidly evolving technology these days, it seems unreasonable that we can’t improve care for diabetics with foot wounds. There are countless researchers attacking the problem from all angles, but one new cure that shows promise for foot wounds that are reluctant to heal comes in an easy-to-administer foot spray.

diabetic foot wounds
Diabetics have long suffered from wounds that refuse to heal. A new spray could help. Image source: viZZZual

What Is Granulox?

Infiniti Healthcare made Granulox® available to patients in the European Union back in June 2012.2http://www.infirst.co.uk/were-working-on/granulox The Class III medical device received clearance for the treatment of any slow-healing wound — leg and foot ulcers, pressure sores, and post-surgical openings, to name a few.

The active ingredient is pure hemoglobin–an iron-rich transport metalloprotein found in red blood cells. Sufficient oxygenation improves wound healing by facilitating the proliferation of new cells, defending those cells from surrounding bacteria, and boosting collagen synthesis.

Is Oxygen Therapy for Diabetic Wounds New?

While hyperbaric oxygen chambers have been used successfully for years, the cost-effectiveness of ulcer treatment with Granulox was an obvious advantage.3http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/5/998.long Hospitals charge up to $2,000 for a 90-minute session of hyperbaric oxygen, while private facilities are more in the ballpark of $165 to $250. A study from 2010 found that 40 sessions over an 8-10 week period were necessary for healing, so you can imagine how much the total cost of healing escalates.4http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858192/

Comparatively, Granulox spray costs approximately $15 – $20 per treatment cycle for more than 10 times the savings.5http://granulox.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Health-economic-evaluation.pdf Even with daily or thrice weekly wound dressing changes, the total cost of treatment ranged from $115 to $250.

Patient compliance is another challenge healthcare professionals face in treating ulcers. The more complex the treatment is, the more difficult it is to get the patient to adhere to the treatment schedule. According to study author Sharon Bateman, “75% of patients were able to apply Granulox independently, making the prospect of patients managing their diabetic foot ulcer independently or with the help of their healthcare team a distinct reality.”

How Well Does the Diabetic Foot Spray Work?

A randomized controlled trial of 20 slow-healing leg ulcers found that the introduction of hemoglobin during the healing process reduced wound size by more than 50% and reduced pain scores by 61%.6http://ewma.org/fileadmin/user_upload/EWMA/pdf/journals/Scientific_articles/Articles_Oct_2013/Effect_of_topical_haemoglobin_Arenbergerova.pdf Key findings include:

  • Noticeable improvement in wound surface area (an average of 62.3%) after just four weeks.
  • Complete wound surface area reduction in 25% of patients.
  • 24% improvement in chronic wounds present for over 12 months.
  • 100% resolution in severe fluid weeping; 86% reduction in moderate exudate; 29% reduction in mild leakage.
  • No debridement for excess tissue slough was necessary for any of the patients.

Another six-month study showed that 93% of patients achieved wound healing within six months, despite having previously suffered wounds that lasted months or even years.7http://www.biologiq.nl/UserFiles/Wounds_UK.pdf The data was presented at the European Wound Management Association conference and published in the British Journal of Nursing.

Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment in NYC

The spray became available in England and Wales in 2014 and is expected to expand to the US market soon. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is at the forefront of all new innovations in the care of diabetic foot wounds and we will be sure to let patients know as soon as this revolutionary new treatment is available to them.

For the time being, there is still much we can do in our private healthcare facility to make patients more comfortable and expedite healing. We offer two convenient locations in Manhattan and Westchester to serve New York City diabetics. A visit to our center is much more enjoyable than sitting in long lines at the emergency room. Our staff consists of board-certified podiatrists and podiatric surgeons, as well as experienced professional sports medicine doctors and physical therapists who can guide you through recovery.

We employ the latest technology from hyperbaric oxygen chambers and ultrasonic debridement to pain lasers and injection therapy, while offering old mainstays like non-invasive topical creams and antibiotics — to facilitate successful healing. Contact us to answer any questions you may have about diabetic foot ulcer care in New York City.

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1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/849592
2. http://www.infirst.co.uk/were-working-on/granulox
3. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/5/998.long
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858192/
5. http://granulox.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Health-economic-evaluation.pdf
6. http://ewma.org/fileadmin/user_upload/EWMA/pdf/journals/Scientific_articles/Articles_Oct_2013/Effect_of_topical_haemoglobin_Arenbergerova.pdf
7. http://www.biologiq.nl/UserFiles/Wounds_UK.pdf

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.