Foot infections in patients with diabetes

Gregory M. Caputo, Nirmal Joshi, Michael R. Weitekamp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The combination of sensory neuropathy, ischemia and direct adverse effect on host defense mechanisms makes patients with diabetes vulnerable to foot infections. A high degree of clinical suspicion and vigilance is necessary for early diagnosis of soft tissue infections and their differentiation from non-infected ulcers. Diagnosis and assessment depend primarily on clinical history and physical examination, although radiographs, scans and laboratory tests may also provide useful clinical data. The ability to defect bone in the base of an ulcer with a blunt sterile probe may be particularly useful in assisting the recognition of osteomyelitis. Most non- limb-threatening infections are caused by Gram-positive cocci, but more serious infections are often polymicrobial. Effective treatment is based on a comprehensive strategy of wound care, avoidance of weight bearing, optimal metabolic control, appropriate antibiotic use and, possibly, surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice


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