Analysis of transfer lesions in patients who underwent surgery for diabetic foot ulcers located on the plantar aspect of the metatarsal heads

Diabet Med. 2013 Aug;30(8):973-6. doi: 10.1111/dme.12202. Epub 2013 Apr 20.


Aims: To analyse the risk of reulceration caused by the transfer of lesions in patients with diabetes, undergoing resection of at least one metatarsal head.

Methods: A total of 119 patients with diabetes from the Diabetic Foot Unit (Complutense University, Madrid, Spain), who underwent resection of at least one metatarsal head were analysed prospectively from November 2006 to December 2011 to assess reulceration in the other metatarsal head.

Results: Seven patients were excluded for being subjected to a pan-metatarsal head resection and 11 patients dropped out. During a median follow-up period of 13.1 months (interquartile range 6.1-22.8 months), 41% of patients suffered from reulcerations. Reulceration frequency in patients operated on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and several metatarsal heads was 9 (69%), 8 (44%), 12 (52%), 2 (25%), 6 (19%) and 4 (50%) events, respectively. The Cox regression model showed hazard ratios that were significant for the location of the metatarsal resection. The first metatarsal showed the highest risk for reulceration (hazard ratio 3.307; 1.472-7.430) and the fifth metatarsal showed the lowest risk (hazard ratio 0.339; 0.138-0.832).

Conclusions: Reulceration is a frequent event following resection of a metatarsal head and should be regarded as an implicit complication of the intervention. The location of the resection determines the risk of reulceration, which is highest for patients operated on the first metatarsal head and lowest for patients operated on the fifth metatarsal head.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetic Foot / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Foot / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Foot / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Foot / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metatarsus
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spain / epidemiology