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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 56(3); 2013 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2013;56(3):220-228.
Published online March 19, 2013.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2013.56.3.220   
Prevention and management of the diabetic foot
Ho Seong Lee
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hosng@amc.seoul.kr
In the diabetic foot, ulceration and amputation are the most serious causes of morbidity and disability in these patients. Peripheral arterial sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, and foot deformities are major causes of foot problems. Foot deformities caused by autonomic and motor neuropathy lead, in turn, to over-pressured focal lesions causing the diabetic foot to be easily injured within the shoe while walking. Wound healing can be difficult in these patients because of impaired phagocytic activity by hyperglycemia, impaired migration of leukocytes due to a thickened basement membrane, malnutrition, and ischemia. Deformity correction or shoe modification to relieve the pressure of over-pressured points is necessary for ulcer management. Selective dressings allowing a moist environment following complete debridement of the necrotic tissue is mandatory. In the case of a large soft tissue defect due to aggressive debridement, a wound coverage procedure is necessary by either a distant flap operation or a skin graft. Amputation can be necessary in the case of an intractable ischemic toe or a life-threatening infected limb. The amputation level should be kept at its minimum to allow patients to walk, with or without a prosthesis, post-amputation. A foot with Charcot's joint should be stabilized and consolidated into a plantigrade foot. The bony prominence of a Charcot foot can be corrected by a bumpectomy for prevention of ulceration. The most effective management of the diabetic foot is ulcer prevention; measures include controlling blood sugar levels, controlling neuropathic pain, smoking cessation, stretching exercises, frequent inspection of the foot, and education on appropriate footwear. A multidisciplinary approach is also highly recommended for managing diabetic foot problems.
Key Words: Diabetic foot, Therapeutics, Prevention & control


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