Chronic wounds affect several million people per year in the USA alone. In fact, care for these patients is greater than the five most costly cancers. Safe, effective therapies for these patients, therefore, takes on even more urgency.
Surgeon scientists from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, in the first of its kind study evaluated reconstructions involving the sole of the foot, yielding surprising results. “Traditional wisdom and teaching has suggested that one should not put a skin graft on the sole of the foot”, noted David G. Armstrong, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) at the University of Arizona, the senior author on the study “The results of this study seem to suggest that, with some degree of common sense, this can actually be an effective treatment.”
The researchers, who credit other investigators for bringing the issue to the fore. “We credit the team from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio for recently comparing people with and without diabetes. The current study builds on those findings. We’re really quite excited, because we think we have a well-established treatment that can lead to more rapid healing for larger, more complex wounds in a wide variety of people to help prevent the one amputation occurring ever 20 seconds throughout the world.”