As diabetes takes on pandemic proportions, it is crucial for the orthopedic surgeon to be aware of the issues involved in diabetic foot. Ulceration is related to neuropathy and to arterial disease, a vital prognostic factor for healing; infection plays an aggravating role, increasing the risk of amputation. At-risk feet need to be screened for. Ulcer classification is essential, to set treatment strategy and determine prognosis. Before any treatment is decided on, neuropathy, vascular insufficiency and infection should individually be assessed by clinical examination and appropriate additional work-up. Despite the International Consensus on the Diabetic Foot recommendations, management of diabetic foot in Europe still varies greatly from country to country, very few of which have established reference centers. Management of diabetic foot remains multidisciplinary; but it has been shown that the orthopedic surgeon should play a central role, providing a biomechanical perspective so as to avoid complications recurrence. Strategy notably includes prevention of at-risk foot, revascularization surgery (which should systematically precede orthopedic surgery in case of critical vascular insufficiency), and treatment of ulcers, whether these latter are associated with osteitis or not. Indications for “minor” amputation should be adequate, and meticulously implemented. “Acute foot” is a medical emergency, entailing massive empirically selected I.V. antibiotics to “cool” the lesion. Prophylactic surgery to limit further risks of ulceration is to be indicated with caution and only when clearly justified. France urgently requires accredited specialized multidisciplinary centers to manage severe lesions: deep and infected ulceration, advanced arteriopathy, and Charcot foot arthropathy.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Diabetes, Foot, Orthopedic surgery
| Based on a lecture by J.-L. Besse at the 84th SOFCOT annual Convention (November 2009).