Complex Wound Management: Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Background and Prevalence of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetes-related foot complications, including diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), are leading causes of non-traumatic lower extremity amputation. Of the approximately 420 million adults in the United States with diabetes mellitus, one fourth will develop at least one DFU. DFUs are preceded by a compendium of risk factors, including the presence of neuropathy, external trauma, infection, effects of ischemia from concomitant peripheral arterial disease, malnutrition, and poor hygiene or self-care, among others. In 80% of patients, DFU is a precursor to some degree of lower extremity amputation. And, for these patients who have undergone amputation, their risk for further amputation becomes double that of a patient without diabetes. The mortality rate following a diagnosis of diabetic foot ulceration is 5% in the first year. The five-year mortality rate is 50% and rises to 70% after amputation. Once healed, 40% of DFUs will recur within 12 months, nearly 70% at three years, and nearly 75% at five years … read more