Is osteomyelitis associated with greater risk for amputation in surgical management of diabetic foot infections? The answer may surprise you. #ActAgainstAmputation

Great work from Javi Aragon Sanchez and team– the pride of the Canary Islands. Compelling work that certainly fits with many people’s experience.

It has been reported that patients with diabetes and foot ulcers complicated with osteomyelitis (OM) have a worse prognosis than those complicated with soft tissue infections (STI). Our study aimed to determine whether OM is associated with a worse prognosis in cases of moderate and severe diabetic foot infections requiring surgery. A retrospective series consisted of 150 patients who underwent surgery for diabetic foot infections. We studied the differences between OM versus STI. Furthermore, diabetic foot infections were reclassified into four groups: moderate STI (M-STI), moderate OM (M-OM), severe STI (S-STI), and severe OM (S-OM). The variables associated with prognosis were limb loss, length of hospital stay, duration of antibiotic treatment, recurrence of the infection, and time to healing (both the initial ulcer and the postoperative wound). No differences in limb salvage, hospital stay, duration of antibiotic treatment, recurrence of the infection, and time to healing were found when comparing OM with STI. Patients with M-O had a higher rate of recurrences after initial treatment and a longer time to healing when comparing with M-STI. We didn’t find any differences between severe infections with or without OM. In conclusion, we have found in our surgical series of diabetic foot infections that OM is not associated with worse prognosis when comparing with STI regarding limb loss rate, length of hospital stays, duration of antibiotic treatment, recurrence of the infection, and time to healing. The results of the present series should further be confirmed by other authors.

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