Complications of the diabetic foot

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2013 Dec;42(4):833-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2013.08.002.


The diabetic foot is at high risk for complications because of its role in ambulation. Peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can lead to chronic foot ulcers, which are at high risk for infection, in part attributable to areas of high pressure caused by lack of tolerance of the soft tissue and bone and joint deformity. If left untreated, infection and ischemia lead to tissue death, culminating in amputation. Treatment strategies include antibiosis, topical therapies, offloading, debridement, and surgery. A multidisciplinary team approach is necessary in the prevention and treatment of complications of the diabetic foot.

Keywords: Amputation; Diabetes; Infection; Multidisciplinary; Ulcer; Wound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation
  • Debridement
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / complications
  • Diabetic Foot / complications*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Ulcer / etiology
  • Skin Ulcer / therapy