June 15, 2018
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UT Southwestern Medical Center’s experienced team of specialists expertly diagnose, treat, and work to prevent diabetes-related foot conditions. We also have a robust diabetes research program aimed at better understanding the disease and its treatments.
We offer diabetic patients a range of strategies and therapies – including educational, non-surgical, and surgical options – to help keep their feet as healthy as possible and avoid serious complications.
People with diabetes are especially prone to foot problems due to neuropathy – nerve damage that can cause sensation loss – and vascular disease, which can impede blood flow and hinder healing.
These diabetes complications mean that minor foot issues such as ingrown toenails, cuts, scrapes, and blisters can become severely infected ulcers before they are discovered and treated. This is why it’s not uncommon for people with diabetes to lose their toes, feet, and legs to amputation.
Diabetic neuropathy also can cause the shape of the feet to change and lead to a condition called Charcot foot.
UT Southwestern’s diabetic foot experts work to prevent these complications and appropriately treat them when they arise. Our multidisciplinary team includes podiatric surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, infectious disease specialists, vascular surgeons, internal medicine specialists, endocrinologists, patient educators, and rehabilitation specialists.
People with diabetes should see a doctor promptly if they develop any problems with their feet, no matter how minor.
UT Southwestern doctors see a nearly threefold improvement in wound closures
Foot ulcers are a common and potentially serious complication for people with diabetes. Even with proper wound care, chronic diabetic foot ulcers often are difficult to treat – and can lead to amputation of the toes, feet, and legs.
But a novel therapy – the use of viable cryopreserved placental membranes (vCPMs) – may help change this.
In a randomized trial of 360 patients with 441 wounds, doctors from UT Southwestern Medical Center and several partner institutions found that treating diabetic foot ulcers with these specially preserved membranes significantly improves wound closures (62 percent) when compared to standard “good wound care” (21 percent) within a 12-week period.
The results of the multicenter trial (“Effectiveness of viable cryopreserved placental membranes for management of diabetic foot ulcers in a real world setting”) were published in the April 23 issue of Wound Repair and Regeneration.
These findings corroborate the results of previous randomized studies in supporting the benefits of using vCPMs to manage diabetic foot ulcers. The findings also can influence policy and treatment decisions regarding the use of advanced vCPM technology.
“Improving the treatment – and therefore the healing – of diabetic foot ulcers goes a long way in reducing infection, hospitalizations, and preventing amputations,” says study co-author Katherine Raspovic, D.P.M., an assistant professor in UT Southwestern’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
“While more research on the use of viable cryopreserved placental membranes is needed, those of us who treat patients with diabetic foot conditions are very encouraged by these results.”
Additional co-authors include UT Southwestern Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dane Wukich, M.D., and Lawrence Lavery, D.P.M., M.P.H., Professor, Department of Plastic Surgery.