FOOT ULCERS DON’T STAND A CHANCE!
Simple surgical fix in works for diabetics
ASIMPLE surgical procedure could be a game changer for diabetics with foot ulcers, a complication that leads to about 80 percent of lower extremity amputations in people with the deadly disease!
In a preliminary U.K. study, researchers found the outpatient surgery under local anesthetic hugely improved recovery, slashed infection and amputation rates, and saved almost 90 percent in healthcare costs!
“Its potential is revolutionary,” says researcher Dr. Adrian Heald. The aim of the procedure is to accelerate healing by adjusting the mechanics of the foot to remove pressure on the ulcer.
Instead of a large incision, the procedure treats the problem through one or more small puncture sites in the skin.
The research, carried out at the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, involved 19 patients.
Of this group, eight men and two women — average age 71 — had toe apex ulcers and damaged flexor tendons. They underwent toe tendon releases where the tendon was cut to relax the toe into a straight position.
The other nine participants, all male — average age 49 — had ulcers on the sole of the foot behind the toes and tightness in the Achilles tendon. Stretching the tendon allowed the patient to walk flat-footed.
Meanwhile, 14 patients in a control group had conservative treatment.
After one year of follow-up, all the ulcers in the surgery group healed in an average of 3.3 to 4.5 weeks. Just three patients in the control group resolved their ulcers, in an average of 20 weeks. No patients in the surgery group were admitted for sepsis, compared to seven in the other group.
And the ulcer recurred in only two patients (10 percent) in the surgery unit, compared to ten (66 percent) in the other, where seven underwent amputation, opposed to two in the surgery set.
None of the surgery patients died, but six members of the other group did.