New German/SALSA Long-Term Diabetic Foot Study: Amputation and Death over a Decade

A landmark ten-year study reveals increasingly good results for patients receiving care for diabetic foot wounds at specialty centers. However, the data aren’t all rosy. “Like nearly everything, we see good and bad”, notes David G. Armstrong, the senior author on the study. “What we notice is that limb-salvage for people presenting for care with a diabetic foot wound to specialty centers is really quite good. However, mortality is very, very high in these patients.” Armstrong, a Professor of Surgery and Director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) at the University of Arizona, went on to say “The frequent analogy we make to cancer is definitely confirmed by the results of this study.” In the study, while only 15% of patients presenting with a wound received a major amputation over a decade, some 70% died over this period, dramatically accelerated by vascular disease and kidney  disease. “What we don’t need is another gadget” noted Armstrong. “What we need is the collective courage to counsel our patients with wounds and amputations. When the wound is open, it is like cancer. When they’re healed, it is not healing– it is remission.” The results of this study, led by Armstrong’s Colleague Stephan Morbach, are published in the online edition of the journal Diabetes Care

David G. Armstrong

Dedicated to amputation prevention, wound healing, diabetic foot, biotechnology and the intersection between medical devices and consumer electronics.

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