Relieve Health Group

Relieve Health Group

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. One of the complications that can arise from this condition is diabetic foot infections (DFIs), which can further lead to two types of infections: diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO) and soft tissue infections (STIs). This article is based on a study that aimed to compare the outcomes of patients with DFO and STIs, specifically focusing on the rates of amputations and the length of hospital stays.

To understand the context, it’s important to know what DFO and STIs are. DFO is an infection that affects the bones in the foot, while STIs are infections that affect the soft tissues of the foot, such as skin, muscle, and ligaments. Both of these conditions can be serious, but DFO is often more severe because it can lead to bone damage and, in some cases, the need for amputation.

The study reviewed the cases of 229 patients who were hospitalized due to foot infections. Out of these, 155 patients had DFO and 74 patients had STIs. The presence of DFO was confirmed through positive bone culture and/or histopathology, which are diagnostic tests that can identify the presence of an infection in the bone.

The results of the study were quite revealing. Patients with DFO were found to have a 5.6 times higher likelihood of overall amputation, a 3.4 times higher likelihood of major amputation, and a 4.2 times higher likelihood of minor amputation compared to patients without DFO. To put it in perspective, major amputation was performed in 16.7% of patients diagnosed with DFO and only 5.3% of patients diagnosed with STIs. This shows that DFO is a serious condition that can often lead to severe outcomes, such as the need for amputation.

Furthermore, the study found that patients with DFO complicated by Charcot neuroarthropathy, a condition that causes weakening of the bones in the foot due to nerve damage, had a 7 times higher likelihood of undergoing major amputation. This highlights the importance of early detection and treatment of DFO, especially in patients with other underlying conditions like Charcot neuroarthropathy.

In terms of hospital stay, patients with DFO stayed in the hospital for an average of 7 days, while patients with STIs stayed for 6 days. This might not seem like a significant difference, but it does indicate that DFO is a more complex condition that requires a longer time for treatment and recovery.

The study also looked at the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a blood test that can indicate the presence of inflammation in the body. Patients with DFO had a higher ESR than patients with STIs, suggesting that DFO is a more inflammatory condition. However, the differences in C-reactive protein, another marker of inflammation, were not significantly different between the two groups.

In conclusion, the study found that the presence of DFO in patients with moderate and severe DFIs resulted in a higher likelihood of amputation and a longer hospital stay. However, it’s important to note that these findings may not apply to less severe cases of DFO that can be managed in an outpatient setting. This highlights the importance of individualized treatment plans based on the severity of the condition.

This study provides valuable insights into the outcomes of DFO and STIs in patients with DFIs. It underscores the need for early detection and effective management of these conditions to prevent severe outcomes like amputation. As a patient or a caregiver, understanding these outcomes can help in making informed decisions about treatment and care.

To read the full journal article, head to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *