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Total contact casting in minor amputations

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Old 7th April 2006, 07:20 AM
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Default Total contact casting in minor amputations

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Total-contact casting as an adjunct to promote healing of pressure ulcers in amputees.
Vasc Endovascular Surg. 2006 Mar-Apr;40(2):135-40
Partial foot amputations have become increasingly prevalent among long-lived diabetic patients. These patients have lower extremity neuropathy and are prone to ulceration at their amputation site. These ulcers are difficult to heal, and they place a significant financial and resource burden on the healthcare system. We examined the efficacy of total-contact casts (TCC) in diabetic amputees with nonhealing partial foot amputation site neuropathic ulcers. Data were collected retrospectively on all patients with amputations who were treated with a total-contact cast between December 2000 and December 2003. Seventeen patients (13 men, 4 women) with amputation site ulceration were identified. All patients were diagnosed with neuropathy secondary to diabetes and none had wound healing compromised by ischemia. The initial ulcer averaged 1,169 mm(2) with a depth of 2.77 mm. Patients were treated with an average of 7.9 cast applications over 8.4 weeks; 47% (8/17) of ulcers healed, but 29% (5/17) of patients were unable to complete their recommended treatment course secondary to complications from the TCC. Of the patients who were able to complete their treatment course, the healing rate was 66.7% (8/12). The recurrence rate for healed ulcers was 63% (5/8). Partial foot amputations with neuropathic ulcers present a very difficult problem to the vascular surgeon. Patient compliance and underlying medical comorbidities limit the success rate. In patients who can complete a TCC treatment course, good short term results can be expected. However, recurrence rates are high following discontinuation of mechanical TCC off-loading.
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