News ID: 204547
Published: 0150 GMT November 19, 2017

Study shows importance of early treatment for diabetic foot ulcers

Study shows importance of early treatment for diabetic foot ulcers

New research underscores the need for early treatment of diabetic foot ulcers to guard against infection.

Foot ulcers are open wounds that develop because of diabetes-related damage to the nerves of blood vessels in the feet, UPI reported.

They're prone to infection and heal slowly.

Researchers at the University of Leeds in England evaluated nearly 300 patients with infected foot ulcers.

They found that 17 percent needed part or all of their foot amputated within one year. Among the others, only about 45 had healed in that time.

Study coauthor Dr. Michael Backhouse, a podiatrist and senior research fellow, said, "The key point is that people need to be seen quickly if an ulcer begins to form — that gives health workers the greatest chance of trying to treat the condition.”

The findings show the prognosis for infected diabetic foot ulcers is worse than previously thought, Backhouse and his colleagues said.

Study leader Andrea Nelson said, "Foot ulcers are painful and debilitating.

"People with foot ulcers have limited mobility, and that brings with it a whole set of other risk factors — obesity and heart disease, for example."

Backhouse said,” hopes the study results "help clinicians caring for patients with diabetes to identify those most at risk for poor outcomes so that we can look to provide further support."

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