Foot Ulcers Recorded With The ICD-10 Foot Ulcer Coding System

A foot ulcer is a serious issue related to diabetics. A person has diabetes when the sugar concentration in their blood increases. It results in low blood pressure and reduces the function of the white blood cell. The foot ulcer is caused due to neuropathic and vascular complications. It is an aftereffect of being diabetic. The treatment follows several diagnoses and are recorded under codes, often termed as ICD-10 foot ulcer coding.

What are the different kinds of diabetic foot ulcers?

Ulcers get identified by their appearance and location. Therefore, the different kinds of diabetic foot ulcers are:

  1. Neuropathic ulcers- It occurs as an outcome of peripheral neuropathy.
  2. Neuroischemic ulcers develop when the diabetic patient has both ischemia and peripheral neuropathy due to peripheral artery disease.
  3. Ischemic ulcers- The ischemic ulcers occur when there is a presence of peripheral artery disease without any interference of peripheral neuropathy.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Diabetic foot ulcers often develop on the feet’s soles. Exactly on the location where the skin is facing constant pressure by the blood vessels. Sometimes these ulcers might develop under the calluses and go undetected. However, the most common sign of foot ulcers is drainage. You may find strains on the socks or inside of your shoes. Besides, these are some of the symptoms and signs one should look out for:

  • Thickened skin surrounding the location of the ulcer.
  • Chills felt in the body or fever during the advanced stages of diabetic foot ulcers.
  • Discharge oozing out from the wound smelling foul.
  • Feeling pain or firmness when you touch the wound.
  • Warmth, swelling and discolouration around the wound.

What is the treatment?

The treatment solely focuses on speeding up the healing process and reducing the growth of infection. These include the following:

  1. Optimal glucose control- The sugar level in your blood to be strictly controlled. It is generally the first step of treating a diabetic patient.
  2. Debridement- It involves the removal of the dead tissue and skin surrounding the foot ulcer. At first, the wound is cleared then the thickened skin or the calluses are removed.
  3. Off-loading- The patients are asked to wear specific foot gears and other supporting accessories. It is done to relieve the foot from the pressure of the ulcerated areas.
  4. Dressing- The ulcers or the wound are then handled carefully and often kept covered with bandages. This dressing keeps the germs away. It protects that wound from getting infected.
  5. Medication- After the wound is looked after by the doctor, the patients get prescribed medication. They need to take it seriously according to the right timing.

What are the ICD-10 codes?

Hospitals or doctors use the ICD-10 foot ulcer coding system to keep the record of their patients. They associate each code with each type of ulcers. It is an easy process to remember and keep documentation.

When you have diabetes, you can develop a foot ulcer. It is always better to keep your blood sugar level under control and go for monthly check-ups.


Kyong Baldwin is a news writer covering politics, education, culture, science and technology. She is also the author of Friday Casting.

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