The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States and worldwide. Most alarming is the steady increase in type 2 diabetes, especially among young and obese people. An estimated 7% of the US population has diabetes, and because of the increased longevity of this population, diabetes-associated complications are expected to rise in prevalence. Foot ulcerations, infections, Charcot neuroarthropathy, and peripheral arterial disease frequently result in gangrene and lower limb amputation. Consequently, foot disorders are leading causes of hospitalization for persons with diabetes and account for billion-dollar expenditures annually in the US. Although not all foot complications can be prevented, dramatic reductions in frequency have been achieved by taking a multidisciplinary approach to patient management. Using this concept, the authors present a clinical practice guideline for diabetic foot disorders based on currently available evidence, committee consensus, and current clinical practice. The pathophysiology and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, infections, and the diabetic Charcot foot are reviewed. While these guidelines cannot and should not dictate the care of all affected patients, they provide evidence-based guidance for general patterns of practice. If these concepts are embraced and incorporated into patient management protocols, a major reduction in diabetic limb amputations is certainly an attainable goal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine