Long-Term Complications after Surgical or Medical Treatment of Predominantly Forefoot Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis: 1 Year Follow Up

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Aim: To compare long-term complications according to the treatment received for management of diabetic foot osteomyelitis (surgical or medical) at 1 year follow up. Design and Participants: A prospective observational study was conducted involving 116 patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis. The patients received surgical or medical treatment based on the principles described in the literature. To register the development of a complication, both groups of treatments were followed-up 1 year after the ulcer had healed. Results: Ninety-six (82.8%) patients received surgical treatment and 20 (17.2%) medical treatment. No differences were found in the time to healing between both groups of treatment, 15.7 ± 9.2 weeks in the surgical group versus 16.4 ± 12.1 weeks in the medical group; p = 0.103. During follow up, 85 (73.3%) patients developed complications without differences between both groups, 68 (70.8%) in the surgical group versus 17 (85%) in the medical group (p = 0.193). The most common complication in both groups was re-ulceration. We did not observe significant differences comparing complication-free time survival between both treatments (p = 0.665). Conclusion: The onset of complications after healing in patients who suffered from diabetic foot osteomyelitis was not associated with the treatment received. Surgical and medical approaches to the management of diabetic foot osteomyelitis produced similar results in long-term follow up.
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