How to bandage my wife’s ankle due to a foot ulcer?


About two weeks ago, I discovered a crack on my wife’s right heel. She saw a doctor about it and he gave it a few days to heal but unfortunately, it turned into a minor (hopefully) foot ulcer. Two days ago, he partially debrided it and today he finished debriding it. My wife will see him again two days from now (on Wednesday) and he will change her dressing again. He cut and put a DuoDerm Extra Thin CGF dressing directly on the wound and then wrapped the ankle expertly. After that, the nurse puts some strips of tape on the dressing to hold it in place. He also told me that I will be changing her dressing starting Saturday. Does anyone know where I can get clear instructions on the Internet about changing an ankle dressing? Her ulcer is centered on her heel line, between the bottom of her foot and where the Achilles’ tendon ends. Finally, any other tips or advice on doing this properly, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading my message and I look forward to reading your responses.

It would be best for the nurse or doctor to show you how to do this. They usually send supplies home.

Definitely ask the doctor… there are so many different ways to do wound care, that what someone suggests here may not at all represent what you need to do to properly dress your wife’s foot…

  1. I’d talk to her doctor about getting visiting nurse services in to do the bandage change OR insist they go through it with you at your doctor’s office until you are satisfied that you can do it yourself.
  2. I’d check if there is a wound clinic at your local hospital and if so, ask to be referred there. Not everyone’s spouse, life partner or roommate is able to do these bandage changes in a way that guarantees the proper sterility and cleanliness. Add to that the fact that a medical professional is more likely to see a negative change faster than you will and in a more objective way and you have two very valid reasons to insist on this.
    Should her doctor be obstinate about that (and some are) then it’s time to change doctors. I am very fortunate up where I live. Not only do I have an excellent primary care physician and endocrinologist, I also have a wonderful podiatrist. At the slightest sign of any issues on my feet they send me to the wound clinic. (I do have periodic issues on my foot.) Now there does come a point when I have a problem with a foot or a toe and the bandage has to be changed daily. I am going through that now on a toe. When it started I was given the choice of being homebound and getting the Visiting Nurse in twice a day or doing the bandage change myself. I chose the latter and they spent quite a bit of time with me ensuring that I did indeed know what I was doing prior to letting me take it upon myself. Of course I have reference photos to compare the wound each day (got to love digital) and I have a couple of friends who are medical professionals (a dr and a nurse) whom I see socially every few days and they look at it as well. So I’m spoiled and I’m the first one to admit that. However if you have any issues or uncertainty at all about doing the changes then stand up. Doctor is spelled P-H-Y-S-I-C-I-A-N not G-O-D. And remember -you and your wife are customers - not refer to yourselves as patients. There is no reason to be patient when it is her health at stake. You are customers and your doctor should be providing you with top-notch customer care. If more people had that attitude the whole health care system would actually work much better.

I agree with everybody’s comments. I changed many dressings (when I was a nurse) and you need expert eyes looking at it, as well as sterile technique for dressing changes.

I had a period of some months to struggle with heel ulcers. It took about 3 months to get rid of an ulcer by putting on a new bandage twice daily. Am and going to bed PM… We tried many treatments including doctors prescriptions.
The ulcer would grow bigger in spite of all the work we put into it.
THEN, surprise, we found the way and the only way for us. You probably smile and say "Another dumb thing."
I will swear by anything that it did work. Now start smiling if you must but:
Cucumber, that simple! English long cucumber, cut in very fine slices or take a pad and soak it with the juice apply to ulcer directly cover with saran rap, only where the pad is, not outside of it or it will irritate the skin, then bandage it with plenty of gauze what the heck the bandage material is called, comes on rolls. Around the ankle and over the foot to make sure it stays in place well. Do the same before going to bed. If it is really bad also once in the middle of the day. Try twice to start. You should see an improvement in probably a week but don’t stop too early. Depending on the size of the wound it may take up to 3 months to heal completely. Stick to the same juice, don’t try something else in between. You must stick to it at least we had to.
All my ulcers healed up rather soon but lost much time with many other things I tried before this. Believe me, it really worked for me. My doctor laughed at me but did say, “try it , my ointments don’t seem to work.” Then it was his turn to appreciate English long cucumbers…


My advice to you is to try doctors and nurses first. If they cannot help you use the cucumber approach. I’m not a doctor and cannot give you doctors advice. Use Seline to clean the wound. Is sold in all pharmacies
in a bottle or separate one time use being sterile. Plastic little pouches attached together.


i am sorry to hear about ur wife: i had and ulcer on my foot too. it was painful. definitely ask a nurse to show you if you have doubts. it is for the best!