Diabetes Complications Increase Infection Risk in Foot, Ankle Surgeries

Patients with complications of diabetes have an increased risk of surgical site infections after foot and ankle surgery, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Researchers at UPMC Mercy Center for Healing and Amputation Prevention in Pittsburgh examined 2,060 consecutive surgical cases in four groups. Group one included nondiabetic patients with neuropathy, group 2 was comprised of nondiabetic patients with neuropathy, group 3 was patients with diabetes but with no complications, and group four was diabetic patients with complications.

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The SSI rate in the study was 3.1 percent, and patients with complicated diabetes had a 7.25-fold increased risk of SSIs compared with nondiabetic patients without neuropathy, and a 3.72-fold increased risk compared to nondiabetic patients with neuropathy. On the other hand, patients with diabetes without complications did not have a greater SSI risk.

Additionally, researchers found that the presence of neuropathy increases the risk of surgical site infections even in patients without diabetes.

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