Surgical management of diabetic foot infections and osteomyelitis

Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2007 Jul;24(3):469-82, viii-ix. doi: 10.1016/j.cpm.2007.04.001.


Foot ulceration and subsequent infection are a major complication of diabetes mellitus. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these infections often lead to amputation. A multidisciplinary team approach is essential to maximize outcomes in the attempt to limit amputation and decrease patient morbidity. Mild to moderate diabetic foot infections often respond favorably to local wound care, offloading, and antibiotic therapy. When conservative measures fail or when faced with limb- or life-threatening infection, surgical intervention, whether it be incision and drainage or possible amputation, is warranted. The authors review underlying pathophysiology of diabetic foot infections and an evidenced-based approach to surgical management, with additional emphasis on treatment of osteomyelitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diabetic Foot / complications
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology
  • Diabetic Foot / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Infections / etiology
  • Infections / surgery*
  • Osteomyelitis / complications
  • Osteomyelitis / microbiology
  • Osteomyelitis / surgery*
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents