Publication: Variables That Could Influence Healing Time in Patients with Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis
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Aim: To compare the healing time in patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis according to the presence or absence of clinical signs of infection, variation of blood parameters, the presence of different radiological signs, and the treatment received for the management of osteomyelitis. Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out in a specialised Diabetic Foot Unit between November 2014 and November 2018. A total of 116 patients with osteomyelitis were included in the study (treated by either a surgical or medical approach). During the baseline visit, we assessed the diagnosis of osteomyelitis, demographic characteristics and medical history, vascular and neurological examination, clinical signs of infection, increased blood parameters, radiological signs of osteomyelitis, and the treatment to manage osteomyelitis. We analysed the association between the presence of clinical signs of infection, variation of blood parameters, presence of radiological signs, and treatment received for management of osteomyelitis with the healing time. Results: The mean time to ulcer healing was 15.8 ± 9.7 weeks. Concerning healing times, we did not find an association with the presence of clinical signs of infection or with the increase in blood parameters, except in the case of eosinophils, which with higher values appear to increase the healing time (U = 66, z = −2.880, p = 0.004). Likewise, no relationship has been found between healing time and the appearance of the different radiological signs of osteomyelitis, nor depending on the treatment administered for the management of osteomyelitis. Conclusion: High levels of eosinophils are associated with a longer healing time of diabetic foot ulcers complicated with osteomyelitis, finding no other factors related to increased healing time.