Split-Thickness Skin Grafts for Closure of Diabetic Foot and Ankle Wounds: A Retrospective Review of 83 Patients

Crystal L. Ramanujam, John J. Stapleton, Krista L. Kilpadi, Roberto H. Rodriguez, Luke C. Jeffries, Thomas Zgonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine if split-thickness skin grafts could be successfully used for closure of foot and ankle wounds in diabetic patients. The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of 100 consecutive patients who underwent a soft tissue surgical reconstruction with split-thickness skin grafts to their foot and/or ankle in our institution from 2005 to 2008. After application of inclusion criteria, 83 eligible charts remained. Of the 83 patients, 54 (65%) healed uneventfully, 23 (28%) required regrafting, and 6 (7%) had a complication resolved with conservative management. All patients had a successful surgical outcome, defined as having achieved complete wound closure at the final follow-up. Surgical outcome was not significantly associated with age, gender, race, hemoglobin A1C, wound size, wound location, illicit drug use, amputation history, Charcot history, or preoperative infection. However, postoperative graft complications were significantly associated with current or previous smoking history (P = .016) and the level of previous pedal amputation to which the split-thickness skin graft was applied (P = .009). This study demonstrates that application of split-thickness skin grafts with an appropriate postoperative regimen is a beneficial procedure to achieve foot and ankle wound closure in diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalFoot & Ankle Specialist
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • ankle
  • diabetes mellitus
  • diabetic ulceration
  • foot
  • split-thickness skin grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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