Fifteen per cent of people with diabetes are affected by foot ulceration at some time in their life. Debridement is an intervention intended to quicken ulcer healing. It involves the removal of devitalized tissue and contaminated or foreign material from the wound, until surrounding healthy tissue is exposed. Once healthy tissue is exposed, weight may be redistributed by padding the foot in order to take pressure off of the wound, permitting it to heal fully. Eventually, an orthotic may be prescribed and fabricated for placement within a patient’s shoes for prevention of recurrences.
Effective management of the diabetic foot is generally regarded as requiring a multidisciplinary approach with good communication between the podiatrist, the internist and the patient.