OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine the percentage of individuals with neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers receiving good wound care who heal within a defined period of time. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of the control groups of clinical trials that evaluated a treatment for diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers. The meta-analytic techniques used include an estimation of the weighted mean percentage healed by end point, an evaluation of the homogeneity of trials, and an estimate of the 95% CI of the grouped data. Grouped-data univariate and multivariate logistic regression was conducted to assess the impact of mean age, ulcer size, and duration on the percentage of ulcers healed at end point. RESULTS: We found a total of 10 control groups meeting our criteria. Six control groups used 20 weeks as the end point for healing or nonhealing. For the six control arms with a 20-week end point, we found a weighted mean healing rate of 30.9% (95% CI 26.6-35.1). A similar analysis for the four 12-week arms found a mean healing rate of 24.2% (19.5-28.8). We failed to detect any statistically significant heterogeneity for either the 20-week or the 12-week trials. CONCLUSIONS: After 20 weeks of good wound care, approximately 31% of diabetic neuropathic ulcers heal. Similarly, after 12 weeks of good care, approximately 24% of neuropathic ulcers attain complete healing. Further patient-level analyses are necessary to definitively determine the associations of age, wound size, and wound duration with likelihood of healing.

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