We reviewed the hospital course of 77 diabetic and 69 nondiabetic subjects who had incision, drainage, and exploration of infected puncture wounds of the foot. Diabetics were 5 times more likely to have multiple operations and 46 times more likely to have a lower extremity amputation than nondiabetics. The interval from injury to surgery was significantly longer in diabetics than nondiabetics. Total lymphocyte count and hemoglobin, hematocrit, and albumin values were significantly lower in diabetics than in nondiabetics. Diabetic amputees had higher prevalences of nonpalpable pulses, nephropathy, neuropathy, and osteomyelitis as compared with diabetic nonamputees. The neuropathic diabetic foot is not protected by pain. When combined with other comorbid factors, this may increase morbidity associated with puncture wounds of the foot.
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