Diabetes: foot ulcers and amputations.
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INTRODUCTION: Diabetic foot ulceration is full-thickness penetration of the dermis of the foot in a person with diabetes. Severity is classified using the Wagner system, which grades it from 1 to 5. The annual incidence of ulcers among people with diabetes is 2.5% to 10.7% in resource-rich countries, and the annual incidence of amputation for any reason is 0.25% to 1.8%. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of interventions to prevent foot ulcers and amputations in people with diabetes? What are the effects of treatments in people with diabetes with foot ulceration? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). RESULTS: We found 50 systematic reviews and RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: debridement, human cultured dermis, human skin equivalent, patient education, pressure off-loading with felted foam or pressure-relief half-shoe, pressure off-loading with total-contact or non-removable casts, screening and referral to foot-care clinics, systemic hyperbaric oxygen for non-infected ulcers, systemic hyperbaric oxygen in infected ulcers, therapeutic footwear, topical growth factors, and wound dressings.