Salvage of the Diabetic Foot With Exposed Os Calcis

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Abstract

Fifty consecutive heel ulcers were managed in three groups by debridement, split-thickness skin graft (STSG), bypass procedures, and orthotics. Croup 1 consisted of 24 ulcers in patients with diabetes (DM) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD), 14 patients in Group II with DM only, and 12 patients with PVD only (Group III). Healing occurred in 56.5%, 64.3%, and 83.3%, respectively. An average of 2.2 procedures were performed per patient. Follow-up periods were for a minimum of two years or until amputation. Time for complete healing and the number of amputations performed were similar in all groups. Of the diabetics (combined from Groups I and II), a subgroup of 27% required partial excision of the os calcis to facilitate closure. After saline dressing changes, STSG was accomplished over thin granulation tissue. Forty percent of this subgroup healed, 30% remained open, and 30% were amputated. Aggressive management, soft-tissue coverage, and or-thotic use can lead to a functional weight-bearing extremity.

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