Use of locally made off-loading techniques for diabetic plantar foot ulcer in Karachi, Pakistan

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of applying locally made pressure off-loading techniques on plantar foot ulcer in individuals with diabetes. This prospective study of 70 diabetic patients was conducted at the foot clinic of Baqai Institute of Diabetology & Endocrinology. Plantar foot ulcer, stages 1A and 2A according to the University of Texas classification, was treated by using three off-loading techniques: modified foot wear (sandal), modified plaster of Paris cast with plywood platform and Scotchcast boot. The outcome was assessed at either complete wound healing (defined as complete epithelialisation) or at 12 weeks, whichever came first. Of the 70 patients, 24 were in modified foot wear group, 23 in modified plaster of Paris cast and 23 in Scotchcast boot group. There was almost equal proportion of patients healed within 12 weeks period treated with these three off-loading techniques, i.e. 22 (95·7%) for modified foot wear group, 19 (95%) for modified plaster cast and 18 (94·7%) for Scotchcast boot group. No significant difference was observed in median healing time and cumulative wound survival at 12 weeks in the three off-loading techniques. Modified foot wear group was the most cost effective ($7) amongst the three off-loading techniques. It is concluded that in this cohort, no significant difference in healing time was observed in the three off-loading techniques, although modified foot wear (sandal) was found to be a more cost-effective treatment modality.

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