J Korean Foot Ankle Soc.  2014 Mar;18(1):1-7. 10.14193/jkfas.2014.18.1.1.

Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcer

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hosng@amc.seoul.kr


In patients with diabetic foot, ulceration and amputation are the most serious consequences and can lead to morbidity and disability. Peripheral arterial sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, and foot deformities are major causes of foot problems. Foot deformities, following autonomic and motor neuropathy, lead to development of over-pressured focal lesions causing the diabetic foot to be easily injured within the shoe while walking. Wound healing in these patients can be difficult due to impaired phagocytic activity, malnutrition, and ischemia. Correction of deformity or shoe modification to relieve the pressure of over-pressured points is necessary for ulcer management. Application of selective dressings that allow a moist environment following complete debridement of the necrotic tissue is mandatory. In the case of a large soft tissue defect, performance of a wound coverage procedure by either a distant flap operation or a skin graft is necessary. Patients with a Charcot joint should be stabilized and consolidated into a plantigrade foot. The bony prominence of a Charcot foot can be corrected by a bumpectomy in order to prevent ulceration. The most effective management of the diabetic foot is ulcer prevention: controlling blood sugar levels and neuropathic pain, smoking cessation, stretching exercises, frequent examination of the foot, and appropriate education regarding footwear.


Diabetic foot ulcer; Treatment of ulcer; Off-loading procedure

MeSH Terms

Arthropathy, Neurogenic
Blood Glucose
Congenital Abnormalities
Diabetic Foot*
Foot Deformities
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Smoking Cessation
Wound Healing
Wounds and Injuries
Blood Glucose


  • Figure 1. Intractable toe ulcers caused by toe deformities. (A) Hammer toes. (B) Toe tip ulcer. (C) Toe tip ulcer of right big toe caused by limitation of dorsiflexion (arrows). (D) Dorsal ulcer of overriding second hammer toe. (E) Medial ulcer of big toe of hallux valgus deformity (arrow).

  • Figure 2. Intractable plantar ulcer (A) due to bony prominence (B, arrow) in Charcot foot. (C) Bumpectomy of the bony prominence (arrow). (D) Completely healed ulcer after bumpectomy.

  • Figure 3. Chronic wound on the lateral side of right foot (A) with osteomyelitis of the fifth metatarsal base (B, arrow). (C) Healed chronic wound after complete debridement including resection of infected bone.

  • Figure 4. (A) Intractable plantar ulcer. (B, C) Plantar condylectomy was done. (D) Healed wound after condylectomy.

Cited by  4 articles

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The Relationship between Body Mass Index and Diabetic Foot Ulcer, Sensory, Blood Circulation of Foot on Type II Diabetes Mellitus Patients
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J Korean Orthop Assoc. 2018;53(2):136-142.    doi: 10.4055/jkoa.2018.53.2.136.

Neurogenic Pain Disorder in the Foot and Ankle: Peripheral Neuropathy
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J Korean Orthop Assoc. 2017;52(4):305-309.    doi: 10.4055/jkoa.2017.52.4.305.

Management and rehabilitation of moderate-to-severe diabetic foot infection: a narrative review
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J Yeungnam Med Sci. 2023;40(4):343-351.    doi: 10.12701/jyms.2023.00717.



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