OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of a multidisciplinary approach to diabetic foot care to reduce the incidence of recurrent ulceration and amputations compared with standard care in a 2-year prospective study. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 145 patients with a past history of neuropathic foot ulcers but no evidence of peripheral vascular disease entered the study. Subjects were screened for their neuropathic and vascular status at baseline, and all received identical foot care education. The intervention group (n = 56) was followed by the multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and podiatrists with regular podiatry and reeducation every 3 months and the provision of specialty footwear as required. The standard treatment group was followed in local clinics on a trimonthly basis and received identical screening and education at baseline. RESULTS: There were no significant differences at baseline in age (intervention 59.2+/-13.4, standard treatment 58.5+/-11.5 years), duration of diabetes (14.0+/-7.1 vs. 15.6+/-7.8 years), or neuropathic status (vibration perception threshold [VPT]: 31.1+/-12.1 vs. 33.9+/-11.3 V, neuropathy disability score [NDS]: 8.1+/-1.4 vs. 7.9+/-1.7). All patients had an ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) of >0.9 and at least one palpable foot pulse. Significantly fewer recurrent ulcers were seen in the intervention group than in the standard treatment group during the 2-year period (30.4 vs. 58.4%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study has demonstrated the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach to diabetic foot care together with the provision of specialty footwear in the long-term management of high-risk patients with a history of neuropathic foot ulcers.

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