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      Foot ulcers in the diabetic patient, prevention and treatment

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          Lower extremity complications in persons with diabetes have become an increasingly significant public health concern in both the developed and developing world. These complications, beginning with neuropathy and subsequent diabetic foot wounds frequently lead to infection and lower extremity amputation even in the absence of critical limb ischemia. In order to diminish the detrimental consequences associated with diabetic foot ulcers, a com-mon-sense-based treatment approach must be implemented. Many of the etiological factors contributing to the formation of diabetic foot ulceration may be identified using simple, inexpensive equipment in a clinical setting. Prevention of diabetic foot ulcers can be accomplished in a primary care setting with a brief history and screening for loss of protective sensation via the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament. Specialist clinics may quantify neuropathy, plantar foot pressure, and assess vascular status with Doppler ultrasound and ankle-brachial blood pressure indices. These measurements, in conjunction with other findings from the history and physical examination, may enable clinicians to stratify patients based on risk and help determine the type of intervention. Other effective clinical interventions may include patient education, optimizing glycemic control, smoking cessation, and diligent foot care. Recent technological advanced combined with better understanding of the wound healing process have resulted in a myriad of advanced wound healing modalities in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. However, it is imperative to remember the fundamental basics in the healing of diabetic foot ulcers: adequate perfusion, debridement, infection control, and pressure mitigation. Early recognition of the etiological factors along with prompt management of diabetic foot ulcers is essential for successful outcome.

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          Most cited references 107

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          Negative pressure wound therapy after partial diabetic foot amputation: a multicentre, randomised controlled trial.

          Diabetic foot wounds, particularly those secondary to amputation, are very complex and difficult to treat. We investigated whether negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) improves the proportion and rate of wound healing after partial foot amputation in patients with diabetes. We enrolled 162 patients into a 16-week, 18-centre, randomised clinical trial in the USA. Inclusion criteria consisted of partial foot amputation wounds up to the transmetatarsal level and evidence of adequate perfusion. Patients who were randomly assigned to NPWT (n=77) received treatment with dressing changes every 48 h. Control patients (n=85) received standard moist wound care according to consensus guidelines. NPWT was delivered through the Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) Therapy System. Wounds were treated until healing or completion of the 112-day period of active treatment. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study has been registered with , number NCT00224796. More patients healed in the NPWT group than in the control group (43 [56%] vs 33 [39%], p=0.040). The rate of wound healing, based on the time to complete closure, was faster in the NPWT group than in controls (p=0.005). The rate of granulation tissue formation, based on the time to 76-100% formation in the wound bed, was faster in the NPWT group than in controls (p=0.002). The frequency and severity of adverse events (of which the most common was wound infection) were similar in both treatment groups. NPWT delivered by the VAC Therapy System seems to be a safe and effective treatment for complex diabetic foot wounds, and could lead to a higher proportion of healed wounds, faster healing rates, and potentially fewer re-amputations than standard care.
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            Causal pathways for incident lower-extremity ulcers in patients with diabetes from two settings.

            To determine the frequency and constellations of anatomic, pathophysiologic, and environmental factors involved in the development of incident diabetic foot ulcers in patients with diabetes and no history of foot ulcers from Manchester, U.K., and Seattle, Washington, research settings. The Rothman model of causation was applied to the diabetic foot ulcer condition. The presence of structural deformities, peripheral neuropathy, ischemia, infection, edema, and callus formation was determined for diabetic individuals with incident foot ulcers in Manchester and Seattle. Demographic, health, diabetes, and ulcer data were ascertained for each patient. A multidisciplinary group of foot specialists blinded to patient identity independently reviewed detailed abstracts to determine component and sufficient causes present and contributing to the development of each patient's foot ulcer. A modified Delphi process assisted the group in reaching consensus on component causes for each patient. Estimates of the proportion of ulcers that could be ascribed to each component cause were computed. From among 92 study patients from Manchester and 56 from Seattle, 32 unique causal pathways were identified. A critical triad (neuropathy, minor foot trauma, foot deformity) was present in > 63% of patient's causal pathways to foot ulcers. The components edema and ischemia contributed to the development of 37 and 35% of foot ulcers, respectively. Callus formation was associated with ulcer development in 30% of the pathways. Two unitary causes of ulcer were identified, with trauma and edema accounting for 6 and < 1% of ulcers, respectively. The majority of the lesions were on the plantar toes, forefoot, and midfoot. The most frequent component causes for lower-extremity ulcers were trauma, neuropathy, and deformity, which were present in a majority of patients. Clinicians are encouraged to use proven strategies to prevent and decrease the impact of modifiable conditions leading to foot ulcers in patients with diabetes.
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              The risk of foot ulceration in diabetic patients with high foot pressure: a prospective study.

              Foot ulceration results in substantial morbidity amongst diabetic patients. We have studied prospectively the relationship between high foot pressures and foot ulceration using an optical pedobarograph. A series of 86 diabetic patients, mean age 53.3 (range 17-77) years, mean duration of diabetes 17.1 (range 1-36) years, were followed-up for a mean period of 30 (range 15-34) months. Clinical neuropathy was present in 58 (67%) patients at baseline examination. Mean peak foot pressure was higher at the follow-up compared to baseline (13.5 kg.cm-2 +/- 7.1 SD vs 11.2 +/- 5.4, p less than 0.001) with abnormally high foot pressures (greater than 12.3) being present in 55 patients at follow-up and 43 at the baseline visit (p = NS). Plantar foot ulcers developed in 21 feet of 15 patients (17%), all of whom had abnormally high pressures at baseline; neuropathy was present in 14 patients at baseline. Non-plantar ulcers occurred in 8 (9%) patients. Thus, plantar ulceration occurred in 35% of diabetic patients with high foot pressures but in none of those with normal pressures. We have shown for the first time in a prospective study that high plantar foot pressures in diabetic patients are strongly predictive of subsequent plantar ulceration, especially in the presence of neuropathy.

                Author and article information

                Vasc Health Risk Manag
                Vascular Health and Risk Management
                Vascular Health and Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                February 2007
                : 3
                : 1
                : 65-76
                [1 ]Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research, William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and National Center of Limb Salvage, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Chicago, IL, USA
                [2 ]Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine Chicago, IL, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: David G Armstrong Chair of Research and Associate Dean, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60048, USA Tel +1 520 360 0044 Fax +1 847 557 1457 Email armstrong@ 123456usa.net
                © 2007 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved

                Cardiovascular Medicine

                infection, diabetes, prevention, amputation, ulcer


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