Heel ulcers do heal in patients with diabetes

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11 Citations (SciVal)


A heel ulcer is considered to be a serious complication in patients with diabetes, and there is limited information regarding outcome. In most of the literature, a poor prognosis is described. The aim of this study was to investigate a large cohort of ulcers located in the heel in patients with diabetes. Seven hundred and sixty-eight patients [median age 73 (17-98)], presenting with a heel ulcer at a multidisciplinary diabetes foot clinic, fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were followed-up until final outcome. Fifty-eight per cent of the patients healed primarily; 7% healed after major debridement; 9% healed after amputation and 25% died unhealed. Median healing time was 17 weeks. Ulcer progression was seen in 19% of patients. Thirty-one percent of patients had severe peripheral vascular disease. A creatinine level below 91 μmol/l was related to a higher probability for healing without major debridement or amputation, whereas vascular surgery, nephropathy and oedema were related to a lower probability for healing without major debridement or amputation. Two thirds of heel ulcers do heal in patients with diabetes despite patients being elderly and with extensive comorbidity. The extent of peripheral vascular disease, nephropathy, oedema and decreased renal function are important factors influencing outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-635
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number4
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Diabetes
  • Healing
  • Heel ulcer
  • Outcome


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