Opinions about the most appropriate surgical management of diabetes-related foot infection: a cross-sectional survey

Seng, Leonard, Drovandi, Aaron, Fernando, Malindu, and Golledge, Jonathan (2022) Opinions about the most appropriate surgical management of diabetes-related foot infection: a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 15. 18.

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Background There is a lack of high quality evidence to guide the optimal management of diabetes-related foot infection, particularly in cases of severe diabetes-related foot infection and diabetes-related foot osteomyelitis. This study examined the opinions of surgeons about the preferred management of severe diabetes-related foot infection.

Methods Vascular and orthopaedic surgeons in Australia and New Zealand were invited to complete an online survey via email. The survey included multi-choice and open-ended questions on clinical management of diabetes-related foot infection. Responses of vascular surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons were compared using non-parametric statistical tests. Open-text responses were examined using inductive content analysis.

Results 29 vascular and 20 orthopaedic surgeons completed the survey. One-third (28.6%) used best-practice guidelines to assist in decisions about foot infection management. Areas for guideline improvement identified included more specific advice regarding the indications for available treatments, more recommendations about non-surgical patient management and advice on how management can be varied in regions with limited health service resource. The probe-to-bone test and magnetic resonance imaging were the preferred methods of diagnosing osteomyelitis. Approximately half (51.2%) of respondents indicated piperacillin combined with tazobactam as the preferred antibiotic choice for empirical treatment of severe diabetes-related foot infection. Negative pressure wound therapy was the most common way of managing a wound following debridement. All vascular surgeons (100%) made revascularisation decisions based on the severity of ischemia while most orthopaedic surgeons (66.7%) were likely to refer to vascular surgeons to make revascularisation decisions. Vascular surgeons preferred using wound swabs while orthopaedic surgeons favoured tissue or bone biopsies to determine the choice of antibiotic. Respondents perceived a moderate variation in management decisions between specialists and supported the need for randomised controlled trials to test different management pathways.

Conclusions Most vascular and orthopaedic surgeons do not use best-practice guidelines to assist in decisions about management of diabetes-related foot infection. Vascular and orthopaedic surgeons appear to have different preferences for wound sampling to determine choice of antibiotic. There is a need for higher quality evidence to clarify best practice for managing diabetes-related foot infection.

Item ID: 73374
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-1146
Keywords: Clinical practice; Diabetic foot disease; Orthopaedic surgery; Survey; Vascular surgery.
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2022 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 1117061
Date Deposited: 31 May 2022 02:13
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320199 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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