DOI: 10.1177/15347346231191583 ISSN:

Risk Factors for Ulcer Recurrence in Diabetic Patients Managed by an Integrated Foot Care Protocol

Laura Giurato, Panunzi Andrea, Marco Meloni, Chiara Pecchioli, Emanuela D’Ambrogi, Luigi Uccioli
  • General Medicine
  • Surgery

The aim of our study was to identify risk factors for the recurrence of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) in a selected population of patients in secondary prevention treated, according to International Guidelines, with an integrated foot care protocol by a referral diabetic foot clinic. A retrospective study was performed with the inclusion of selected outpatients with diabetes at higher risk for ulceration with a history of previous ulcer and/or amputation followed in our diabetic foot clinic between January 2015 and December 2021. According to the presence or absence of recurrence, patients were divided into 2 groups: ulcer recurrence and without ulcer recurrence. One hundred twenty-seven (127) patients were included, 47 patients (37%) developed an ulcer recurrence while 80 patients (63%) did not. The mean age was 71.7 years; 65% were male; 97% were affected by type 2 diabetes with a mean duration of 21.1 years, the mean HbA1c was 63 + 21 mmol/mol. Both groups of patients had foot deformities, such as claw and hammertoes; hallux valgus, and prominent metatarsal heads (MTHs). The presence of deformity was significantly associated with ulceration. The group with ulcer recurrence showed a higher rate of prominence MTHs in comparison to a group without ulcer recurrence. The MTHs resulted as the only independent predictor for recurrence. This study shows that the presence of the prominent MTH is a significant risk factor for ulcer recurrence in a selected population of diabetic foot patients treated in the best way with integrated foot care.

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