Treatment of the Diabetic Foot – to Amputate or Not?

“Foot ulcers affect one in ten diabetics during their lifetime Patients with diabetes have increased risk of lower-extremity amputations and the main cause is diabetic peripheral arterial disease accelerated by the direct damage to the nerves and blood vessels by high blood glucose levels. About 50% of patients with diabetic foot infections who have foot amputations die within five years. Properly managed most can be cured, but many patients needlessly undergo amputations because of improper diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.”

The enclosed article published in BMC Surgery debates the pros and cons of amputation of the diabetic foot. The thesis is that if the guidelines on the management of the diabetic foot are followed primary amputation is only necessary for the unsalvageable diabetic foot. This approach would reduce the incidence of lower limb amputations in diabetic patients. What do you think?

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