Diabetic foot ulcers: Contemporary assessment and management

Document Type



Vascular Surgery; Surgery


Diabetic foot ulcer disease is the combination of vasculopathy, neuropathy and infection. It is important to identify the main aetiology and to treat it for optimal ulcer healing so that limb amputation may be prevented. A literature review spanning five years (2018-2021) was performed to assess the current understanding of these aetiologies and management options for their treatment. Peripheral artery disease is prevalent in patients with diabetes. Before performing any amputations, whether minor or major, vascular supply in these patients needs to be evaluated and, if needed, improved. Diabetic neuropathy is a long-term complication of uncontrolled diabetes. Patients' education is very important with respect to selfcare and prevention of foot complications arising out of minor trauma in diabetic population. Better foot care and regular use of off-loading shoe wear can prevent neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. Infection in diabetic patients is mostly polymicrobial and it can present as superficial or deep infections. Early diagnosis, use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and aggressive debridement, when needed, is advocated to prevent foot amputation. Contemporary treatment armamentarium provides many options for treating diabetic foot ulcers. Nevertheless, one must exhaust all preventive strategies to avoid ulcers in the first place. Once an ulcer has developed, it should be managed aggressively with appropriate soft tissue and, if required, with bony procedures. The current narrative review was planned to explore the current understanding about the main aetiologies of diabetic foot ulcers and about the available treatment options

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association