Performing pre-emptive surgery to correct foot mechanics has been shown to be effective in treating diabetic foot ulcers, Medical Xpress reports.
A preliminary study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes describes how these one-day procedures in 19 patients successfully resolved all foot ulcers, prevented diabetic foot sepsis and reduced the rate of recurrence and amputations compared with 15 patients who received conservative treatment.
Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that occur in about 15% of people with diabetes at some point in their lives. The ulcers are usually located in the most stressful areas, such as the soles of the feet, and are the cause of about 80% of lower limb amputations in people with diabetes.
Between April 2019 and April 2021, 19 patients with diabetic foot ulcers (without associated abscesses) were offered a percutaneous procedure performed by an orthopedic surgeon, and 14 patients were treated conservatively, with optimal medical and podiatric treatment.
After one year of follow-up, all patients in the surgical treatment group achieved successful ulcer resolution compared with three patients (36%) in the conventional treatment group.
During follow-up, no patients in the surgical treatment group were hospitalized for diabetic foot sepsis compared with seven (46%) patients in the conventional treatment group. Ulcer recurrence occurred in only two patients (10%) in the surgical treatment group compared with 10 (66%) in the conservative treatment group.
Similarly, amputation was more common in the conventional treatment group (7 patients, 66%) than in the surgery group (2 patients, 10%). No patients in the surgical treatment cohort died, whereas six patients died in the conservative treatment group.