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Published on March 23, 2018

Wound care close to home helps area man

Bob Britton can't say enough about the wound care he received at Gundersen Tomah Clinic.

It was more than one year ago when Britton, 60, slipped and fell after an ice storm, breaking bones in his right foot and his ankle. Six weeks in a cast healed his broken bones well enough.

It was something lurking underneath which has kept him in a wheelchair for more than a year. He developed a blister-like wound on his heel. As a man recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and numbness (neuropathy), Britton didn't feel that injury. His clinician spotted the diabetic foot ulcer.

"It was almost down to the heel bone," says Britton.

Enter physician assistant and wound expert, Brad Maurhoff, PA-C. Maurhoff has treated Britton's open wound for many months.

"He does a great job," Britton says. "He's very conscientious and works diligently to make sure my wound is healing properly. I have great service from him and his medical assistant (Anna Boch, MA). They do great work. I can't say enough good things about them."

That diligence included wound cleansing, packing and dressing twice a week for some three months, then weekly. Maurhoff checks for signs of infection and that the foot is progressing to healing.

"It was a slow process," says Britton. "But you should see the before and after pictures."

If there is a lesson to be learned, it's that diabetic foot ulcers can degrade into serious problems very quickly, says Maurhoff, and that's what happened in Britton's case.

"Especially with diabetics, early intervention is the key," says Maurhoff. "When you see a wound, it needs to be addressed as soon as you see it, rather than wait until it gets worse. Within days it can go from something superficial to something that can be limb-threatening. It's important to do daily foot checks and to be seen early."

Britton is very happy with his ongoing care, which included Gundersen Podiatry, and thankful that care is close to his work and home in Tomah.

"I would have never survived the trips to La Crosse," he says. "There is some pain involved and those trips would have been very difficult for me. I'm very grateful I was able to have my care here in Tomah."

For information about wound care, call the Gundersen Tomah Clinic at (608) 372-4111.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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