Published online May 20, 2015. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v5.i2.130
Peer-review started: November 9, 2014
First decision: December 12, 2014
Revised: January 5, 2015
Accepted: January 18, 2015
Article in press: January 20, 2015
Published online: May 20, 2015
One of the most common and serious complications of diabetes mellitus is ulceration of the foot. Among persons with diabetes, 12%-25% will present to a healthcare institution for a foot disorder during their lifespan. Despite currently available medical and surgical treatments, these are still the most common diabetes-related cause of hospitalization and of lower extremity amputations. Thus, many adjunctive and complementary treatments have been developed in an attempt to improve outcomes. We herein review the available literature on the effectiveness of several treatments, including superficial and deep heaters, electro-therapy procedures, prophylactic methods, exercise and shoe modifications, on diabetic foot wounds. Overall, although physical therapy modalities seem to be useful in the treatment of diabetic foot wounds, further randomized clinical studies are required.
Core tip: People with diabetes are prone to frequent and often have severe foot problems. Treatments for diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) include surgical debridement and drainage, antimicrobial therapy for infected wounds, pressure off-loading methods and advanced wound dressings. Thus, many clinicians and researchers have made efforts to develop adjunctive or complementary treatments to improve the outcome of DFUs. This paper presents a review of the epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of DFUs, and a discussion of the data available on relevant physical therapies and rehabilitation methods.