Heel ulcers don’t heal in diabetes. Or do they?

Chipchase, Susan and Treece, K. A. and Pound, N. and Game, F. L. and Jeffcoate, W. J. (2005) Heel ulcers don’t heal in diabetes. Or do they? Diabetic Medicine, 22 (9). pp. 1258-1262. ISSN 0742-3071

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2005.01665.x

Abstract

AIM: To obtain information on outcome of heel ulcers in diabetes.

METHODS: Data were recorded prospectively on all patients with heel ulcers who were referred to a specialist multidisciplinary clinic between 1 January 2000 and 30 November 2003. Outcomes were assessed on 31 March 2004.

RESULTS: There were 157 heel ulcers in the patients referred in the period. Three ulcers were excluded from analysis because of associated osteomyelitis. Of 154 remaining ulcers (121 limbs; 97 patients, 55 male; mean age 68.5 +/- 12.8 sd years), 101 (65.6%) healed after a median (range) 200 (24-1225) days. Of 53 non-healed ulcers, 11 (7.1% of 154) were resolved by major amputation, 30 (19.5% of 154) were unhealed at time of patient's death, and 12 (7.8% of 154) remained unhealed. Ulcers healed in 59 of 97 affected patients (60.8%). Twenty-six patients (26.8% of 97) died during the period, of whom 20 died with ulcers unhealed. Worse outcomes were observed in larger ulcers (P = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test = 1883.5) and limbs with clinical evidence of peripheral arterial disease (P = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test = 1163.00). Backward step-wise logistic regression analysis showed 70.1% of healing could be predicted from these two baseline characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS: The common perception that 'heel ulcers don't heal' is not reflected in clinical practice. Outcome is generally favourable even in a population often affected by serious comorbidity and with limited life expectancy. These data can be used to help define management plans, as well as a basis for counselling of the individual patient.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:AIM: To obtain information on outcome of heel ulcers in diabetes. METHODS: Data were recorded prospectively on all patients with heel ulcers who were referred to a specialist multidisciplinary clinic between 1 January 2000 and 30 November 2003. Outcomes were assessed on 31 March 2004. RESULTS: There were 157 heel ulcers in the patients referred in the period. Three ulcers were excluded from analysis because of associated osteomyelitis. Of 154 remaining ulcers (121 limbs; 97 patients, 55 male; mean age 68.5 +/- 12.8 sd years), 101 (65.6%) healed after a median (range) 200 (24-1225) days. Of 53 non-healed ulcers, 11 (7.1% of 154) were resolved by major amputation, 30 (19.5% of 154) were unhealed at time of patient's death, and 12 (7.8% of 154) remained unhealed. Ulcers healed in 59 of 97 affected patients (60.8%). Twenty-six patients (26.8% of 97) died during the period, of whom 20 died with ulcers unhealed. Worse outcomes were observed in larger ulcers (P = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test = 1883.5) and limbs with clinical evidence of peripheral arterial disease (P = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test = 1163.00). Backward step-wise logistic regression analysis showed 70.1% of healing could be predicted from these two baseline characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: The common perception that 'heel ulcers don't heal' is not reflected in clinical practice. Outcome is generally favourable even in a population often affected by serious comorbidity and with limited life expectancy. These data can be used to help define management plans, as well as a basis for counselling of the individual patient.
Keywords:Diabetes care
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:5601
Deposited By: Susan Chipchase
Deposited On:21 May 2012 10:25
Last Modified:21 May 2012 10:33

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