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.

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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