Resection of the metatarsal head for diabetic foot ulcers

Am J Surg. 1998 Nov;176(5):436-41. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(98)00235-9.


Background: Diabetic foot ulceration is a worldwide health problem. Approximately 15% of the 10 million diabetic patients in the United States will develop a foot ulceration at some time in their lives. The presence of a foot ulcer in this population is extremely debilitating and dramatically increases the risk of lower extremity amputation, accounting for approximately 67,000 lost limbs each year. Additionally, the costs associated with treating foot ulcers in diabetic patients is a major expense in the overall care of this patient group.

Methods: An 11-year retrospective study was conducted to evaluate 101 consecutive patients with diabetic ulcers of the forefoot who were treated using resection of the metatarsal head as the primary means of obtaining wound closure.

Results: The results indicate that 88% of the ulcers were healed by using this technique, and relatively more rapidly than would be expected when compared with historical norms.

Conclusions: Resection of the metatarsal head is a safe and relatively inexpensive procedure that facilitates closure of the lesion, helps to control infection, and prevents countless and costly amputations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetic Foot / economics
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Diabetic Foot / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metatarsal Bones / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing*