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Diabetic Foot Ulcers: The Importance of Patient Comorbidity Recognition and Total Contact Casting in Successful Wound Care

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Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a major burden on the health-care system. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors affecting the healing rate of DFU in a university wound care center. Records of DFU patients treated between July 2013 and February 2015 were reviewed. Demographics, comorbidities, wound characteristics, and treatment modalities including offloading, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, total contact casting, and bioengineered skin were investigated. All patients underwent weekly debridement regardless of treatment modality. A total of 114 patients ages 18 to 98 comprised the study population. Total contact casting was the only treatment associated with increased healing (P = 0.02). Smoking (P = 0.004) and deep vein thrombosis history (P = 0.001) significantly decreased the likelihood of wound healing. Patients with past vascular event trended toward longer healing times (P = 0.07). Total contact casting in combination with weekly wound debridement showed benefit in DFU wound healing, whereas patients with a history of deep vein thrombosis and smoking were less likely to heal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2016

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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