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Diabetes Complications Worsen Outcomes in Foot, Ankle Surgery

Complications from diabetes increase the risk of infection after foot or ankle surgery, according to the results of a new study.

Type 2 diabetes patients with complications including diabetic peripheral neuropathy or an A1C of 8 or higher were more likely to experience surgical site infections following foot or ankle surgery, researchers said.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and regional colleagues compared the results of 2,060 surgical cases, including patients without diabetes and neuropathy, patients without diabetes but with neuropathy, diabetic patients with no complications and diabetics with at least one complication.

Of the cases, 3.1 percent developed surgical site infections, and the diabetic group with complications was 7.25 times more likely than the other three groups to develop infections.”Complicated diabetes increases the risk of surgical site infection after foot and ankle surgery,” researchers wrote. “Patients who had diabetes without complications did not have a greater risk of surgical site infection compared with nondiabetic patients without neuropathy. The presence of neuropathy increases the risk of surgical site infection even in patients without diabetes. Poor long-term glycemic control is also associated with an increased risk of surgical site infection.”

The study appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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