A simple blood test can now predict the probability of success for a procedure that can save the lower leg of diabetic patients facing amputation according to a study presented at the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society’s (AOFAS) annual meeting today.
The study, conducted by Alastair Younger, M.D. and Colin Meakin, M.D. at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, examined 21 patients with diabetes who received successful partial foot amputations and 21 diabetic patients who experienced a failed amputation. Those with a 7% or lower level of glucose in their blood had a high rate of success with a partial foot amputation and did not need a blow knee amputation (BKA).
When a diabetic patient shows signs of having a foot ulcer - which is an open wound on the bottom of the foot - doctors first try to heal it using a variety of methods. If those methods fail, the ulcers become severe and often infected, causing many doctors to quickly perform a below knee amputation. This results in a patients’ loss of mobility and independence.
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