Journal Article

Foot Problems in Diabetes: An Overview

Jan S. Ulbrecht, Peter R. Cavanagh and Gregory M. Caputo

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 39, issue Supplement_2, pages S73-S82
Published in print August 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/383266
Foot Problems in Diabetes: An Overview

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Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations in the United States. Most amputations are preceded by an ulcer, and ulcers are costly in their own right. Most ulcers are neuropathic in etiology and plantar in location. They occur typically at sites of high mechanical loading because of repetitive trauma in people with loss of pain sensation. In an adequately perfused limb, such ulcers are not difficult to heal. When they are properly mechanically off-loaded, ∼90% of these wounds heal in ∼6 weeks. The reference standard off-loading device is the total contact cast, but other reasonably efficacious methods exist. Screening and implementation of preventive measures in the high-risk patient are highly recommended and can reduce the incidence of ulceration. All patients with diabetes should be screened annually for loss of protective sensation, with the 10-g Semmes-Weinstein monofilament being the easiest tool to use. Education to prevent complications should be implemented for all patients with loss of protective sensation.

Journal Article.  6116 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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