A systematic approach to diabetic foot infections

Thomas Zgonis, Thomas S. Roukis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Foot infection is the most common reason for hospitalization and subsequent lower extremity amputation among persons with diabetes. Foot ulceration caused by diabetic neuropathy, trauma, and peripheral vascular disease can lead to a limb- or life-threatening infection. The optimum treatment of these potentially devastating conditions depends on a multidisciplinary approach that addresses the related or underlying disorders and thus ensures proper wound healing and a positive outcome. In addition to antibiotic therapy, severe soft-tissue or bone infections may necessitate surgical treatment, including drainage, debridement, and vascular reconstruction. Initial (empiric) antibiotic therapy should provide coverage against staphylococci and streptococci and should be revised according culture results. Antibiotic therapy is not indicated in clinically noninfected wounds. The duration of antibiotic treatment can range from 1 week for mild infections to 6 weeks or more for residual osteomyelitis and severe deep tissue infections. Aggressive (and sometimes repeated or staged) surgical intervention and appropriate antibiotic therapy can reduce the likelihood of a major amputation and the duration of hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-262
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Diabetic foot infections
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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