Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Simple Blood Test Will Help Diabetic Patients Avoid Leg Amputation

30.07.2004


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.


An alternative to a BKA is a transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) in which the front portion of the foot containing the ulcer is removed. TMAs have a 75% success rate, but for the 25% of patients whose TMA’s fail, the process of getting another corrective surgery is monetarily, physically, and mentally taxing. This failure rate has caused many surgeons to skip an attempt at a TMA and simply perform a BKA.

However, foot amputation success can now be at least partially predicted. According to Dr. Younger, “the number one important aspect in the success of a TMA is the quality of diabetic control.” When a diabetic patient is said to be in control, they have taken good care in stabilizing their blood sugar levels. Also, diabetic patients who do not smoke have a much higher success rate for a TMA.

Diabetic control can be measured by a test called a HBA 1C, which measures a diabetic’s glucose level in the blood for past three months. This gives doctors an indication of how well a diabetic patient is taking care of their condition. The lower the percentage of glucose in the blood, the higher the rate of success of a TMA. “When glucose is greater than 10% of the blood, the TMA is bound to fail, but when it is below 7% the rate of success is high, and a surgeon should perform a TMA,” said Dr. Younger.

Another improvement on the operation involves a new invention, called Osteoset Beads. These small beads get inserted into the foot after partial amputation to release antibiotics, helping to prevent infection and speed recovery of a patient. “When doctors can save a limb, they should perform that surgery under the right conditions,” noted Dr. Meakin.

With these new discoveries, “we can save more limbs than were able to in the past,” said Dr. Younger. Dr.’s Younger and Meakin hope that orthopaedic surgeons will now consider performing a TMA instead of a BKA to help diabetic patients maintain their mobility and sense of independence.

The AOFAS is the leading professional organization for orthopaedic surgeons specializing in disorders of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors with extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system that includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.aofas.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New approach towards an improved treatment of anxiety disorders
12.12.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Researchers image atomic structure of important immune regulator
11.12.2018 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How skin cells protect themselves against stress

12.12.2018 | Life Sciences

Copper compound as promising quantum computing unit

12.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New approach towards an improved treatment of anxiety disorders

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>