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Surgical Off-loading of the Diabetic Foot

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  • 1 Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ.
  • | 2 Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Los Angeles, CA.
  • | 3 Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA.
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Surgical intervention for chronic deformities and ulcerations has become an important component in the management of patients with diabetes mellitus. Such patients are no longer relegated to wearing cumbersome braces or footwear for deformities that might otherwise be easily corrected. Although surgical intervention in these often high-risk individuals is not without risk, the outcomes are fairly predictable when patients are properly selected and evaluated. In this brief review, we discuss the rationale and indications for diabetic foot surgery, focusing on the surgical decompression of deformities that frequently lead to foot ulcers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 369–384, 2010)

Corresponding author: Robert G. Frykberg, DPM, MPH, Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, 650 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012. (E-mail: Robert.Frykberg@va.gov)