Xinyu Liang, Yongcheng Xu, Yaxu Zhang, Xia Feng, Yuzhen Wang, Cheng Zhao, Yemin Cao

An effective treatment for diabetic foot necrosis with traditional Chinese and Western medicine: a case report

  • Nursing (miscellaneous)
  • Fundamentals and skills

Patients with diabetes who undergo a kidney transplant are at a great risk of undergoing amputations, usually associated with severe infection and necrosis. The treatment of severe diabetic foot necrosis is challenging in clinic, and the function of the limb is often hugely compromised. A 74-year-old male who had been diagnosed with severe post-renal transplant diabetic foot necrosis refused the option of below-knee amputation from previous surgeons, and requested to keep his left foot. The patient was treated with integrated traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine, with positive results. TCM therapeutic principles included ‘clearing heat, removing toxicity, regulating Qi, resolving dampness, activating stagnant blood and nourishing yin as well as tonifying Qi and blood’. Treatment with Western medicine included wound debridement, internal fixation or joint fusion, and use of insulin, antibiotics and vasodilators. The patient was treated with a staged and diverse approach (i.e., a combination of TCM and Western medicine, surgical management and education for diabetic foot care), which ultimately helped the patient achieve limb salvage and regain normal function. A combination therapy of Western medicine and TCM may be a promising approach to heal diabetic foot ulcers.

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