Predictive Factors for Successful Limb Salvage Surgery in Diabetic Foot Patients

Matthew Seung Suk Choi; Seung Bae Jeon; Jang Hyun Lee

Disclosures

BMC Surg. 2014;14(113) 

In This Article

Abstract

Background The goal of salvage surgery in the diabetic foot is maximal preservation of the limb, but it is also important to resect unviable tissue sufficiently to avoid reamputation. This study aims to provide information on determining the optimal amputation level that allows preservation of as much limb length as possible without the risk of further reamputation by analyzing several predictive factors.

Methods Between April 2004 and July 2013, 154 patients underwent limb salvage surgery for distal diabetic foot gangrene. According to the final level of amputation, the patients were divided into two groups: Patients with primary success of the limb salvage, and patients that failed to heal after the primary limb salvage surgery. The factors predictive of success, including comorbidity, laboratory findings, and radiologic findings were evaluated by a retrospective chart review.

Results The mean age of the study population was 63.9 years, with a male-to-female ratio of approximately 2:1. The mean follow-up duration was 30 months. Statistical analysis showed that underlying renal disease, limited activity before surgery, a low hemoglobin level, a high white blood cell count, a high C-reactive protein level, and damage to two or more vessels on preoperative computed tomography (CT) angiogram were significantly associated with the success or failure of limb salvage. The five-year survival rate was 81.6% for the limb salvage success group and 36.4% for the limb salvage failure group.

Conclusion This study evaluated the factors predictive of the success of limb salvage surgery and identified indicators for preserving as much as possible of the leg of a patient with diabetic foot. This should help surgeons to establish the appropriate amputation level for a case of diabetic foot and help prevent consecutive operations.

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