The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of the erbium:yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser on diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) that had not responded to standard care. We retrospectively evaluated 22 nonhealing DFUs that received at least 4 weeks of standard wound care, demonstrated poor healing response, and subsequently were treated with an erbium:YAG laser. We measured the percent wound area reduction (PWAR) for the 4 weeks before initiating laser therapy and the PWAR for 4 weeks after the initiation of laser therapy. Erbium:YAG laser treatment consisted of 2 components: debridement and resurfacing. The laser settings were the same for all treatments. We used the paired t test to compare pretreatment with posttreatment wound area reduction. During the 4-week period before the initiation of laser therapy, the average PWAR was –33.6%. Four weeks after initiating treatment with the erbium:YAG laser, the average PWAR was 63.4% (p = .002) and 72.7% of wounds had ≥50% PWAR. By 12 weeks, 50% of wounds had healed. Erbium:YAG laser therapy accelerated DFU healing in a cohort of patients with ulcers that had been unresponsive to standard of care therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1080
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • 4
  • debridement
  • healing
  • laser
  • percent wound area reduction
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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