Author(s): Gibbons GW
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Abstract Neuropathy, peripheral ischemia, and an altered host defense make the diabetic patient particularly prone to the development of infected foot ulcers. Successful treatment must be directed at these three primary pathologic situations. Since a limb-threatening infection carries a 25\% risk of major amputation, early and prompt recognition and reporting of all foot problems are essential. Neuropathy requires total rest of the injured part. An altered host defense requires knowledge of the bacteria involved and proper use of antibiotics. It requires strict adherence to sound surgical principles that ensure debridement of all necrotic material and adequate dependent drainage of the wound while conserving as much viable skin and tissue for later revision or conservative amputations. Once sepsis is controlled, ischemic extremities can be revascularized. Because of the peculiar nature of the diabetic's vascular disease, revascularization procedures require the maximum skill and experience of the operating vascular surgeon. After revascularization, revisions or more conservative distal amputations can be achieved. Patient and physician education and understanding still remain essential not only to prevention but to successful management of all diabetic foot-related problems.
This article was published in J Vasc Surg
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access