Diabetic foot ulcer amputation rate cut by 75 percent with new method

Structured health care for subjects with diabetic foot ulcers results in a major reduction of amputation rates

Pre- and Post-Operative Services for the Amputee with Diabetes: What the health care provider needs to know to prepare and care for amputee patients

Matthias Weck, Torsten Slesaczeck, Hartmut Paetzold, Dirk Muench, Thomas Nanning, Georg Gagern, Andrej Brechow, Ulf Dietrich, Mandy Holfert, Stefan Bornstein, Andreas Barthel, Antje Thomas, Markolf Hanefeld and Carsta Koehler

Cardiovascular Diabetology 2013, 12:45 doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-45

Published: 13 March 2013

Abstract (provisional)


We tested the effects of structured health care for the diabetic foot in one region in Germany aiming to reduce the number of major amputations.

Research design and methods: In a prospective study we investigated patients with diabetic foot in a structured system of outpatient, in-patient and rehabilitative treatment. Subjects were recruited between January 1st, 2000 and December 31, 2007. All participants underwent a two-year follow-up. The modified University of Texas Wound Classification System (UT) was the basis for documentation and data analysis. We evaluated numbers of major amputations, rates of ulcer healing and mortality. In order to compare the effect of the structured health care program with usual care in patients with diabetic foot we evaluated the same parameters at another regional hospital without interdisciplinary care of diabetic foot (controls).


684 patients with diabetic foot and 508 controls were investigated. At discharge from hospital 28.3% (structured health care program, SHC) vs. 23.0% (controls) of all ulcers had healed completely. 51.5% (SHC) vs. 49.8% (controls) were in UT grade 1.

Major amputations were performed in 32 subjects of the structured health care program group (4.7%) vs. 110 (21.7%) in controls (p<0.0001). Mortality during hospitalization was 2.5% (SHC) vs. 9.4% in controls (p<0.001).


With the structured health care program we achieved a significant reduction of major amputation rates by more than 75% as compared to standard care.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.


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