Meta-analysis of the outcomes of metatarsal head resection for the treatment of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers

This work from Yammine and coworkers.

Significance: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are associated with high morbidity, mortality, and health costs. Standard care (SC) associated with nonsurgical offloading is the mainstay treatment for DFUs, but it has high recurrence and infection rates. Metatarsal head resection (MHR) has been proposed as an effective surgical offloading technique for the treatment of plantar neuropathic DFUs, but with no evidence synthesis yet. Recent Advances: Based on PRISMA guidelines, a meta-analysis was conducted to assess the efficacy of MHR. Four electronic databases were searched for. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria with a total of 477 patients (494 feet and 593 neuropathic forefoot ulcers). The studies included 3 retrospective comparative studies and 8 case-series. Critical Issues: Meta-analytical results of comparative studies on recent non-infected DFUs showed MHR having significantly better rates of healing, time to healing, ulcer recurrence, and infection than SC. Failure to heal, recurrence, and infection rates were 4 times higher in the SC group than in the MHR group, and the amputation rate was two times higher in the SC group than in the MHR group. The outcomes of the meta-analysis of case-series on chronic and recalcitrant ulcers treated with MHR were similar. Future Directions: Considering the natural history of DFUs treated conservatively and the satisfactory outcomes with a significantly low complication rate of MHR, physicians should consider the use of MHR more often and include this technique in the early management of DFUs.  

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