In persons with diabetes, foot infection, that is, invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in tissues accompanied by tissue destruction or a host inflammatory response, usually begins with skin trauma or ulceration 1. While most foot infections remain superficial, they can spread to subcutaneous tissues, including muscle, joints, and bone. Many diabetic foot ulcers eventuate in an amputation; infection plays a role in approximately 60% of cases 2-4. Neuropathy is the main factor leading to skin breaks, while arterial perfusion largely affects infection outcome. Among the factors predisposing diabetic patients to foot infections are ill-defined immunological perturbations 56; foot anatomy may foster proximal spread of infection and ischemic necrosis 78.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.