Diabetic foot infections can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even amputation. The predominant pathogen in the infection is gram-positive cocci. Severe infection due to delayed treatment may be difficult to treat. The outcome of the therapy is dependent on the response to antibiotics. Bone infection often requires surgery as it is difficult to treat.
How foot infections develop and advance
Foot infections often begin from skin ulceration. While many infections are mild, less than 25 percent will get severe often penetrating into the bone. Anyone with a foot infection has a high probability of another infection occurring within few years. Among those who have foot ulcers, between 10 and 30 percent will require a minor to major amputation. It is possible to prevent foot infections by paying close attention to your feet and using diabetic foot creams and lotions to keep your feet moisturized.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Although the antibiotic therapy is still the major form of therapy in case of foot ulcers, the efficacy of this treatment is controversial. There are evidences which indicate that in many clinical trials, antibiotics did not improve the outcome. But there are contrary reports as well. Successful antibiotic therapy depends to large extent on drug concentration at the point of infection. This is possible through optimal serum levels.
Treatment in the form of intravenous antibiotics may be needed for severely ill patients who cannot tolerate oral medication and who are severely infected. Oral therapy is more convenient and less expensive but may not be suitable in case of severely infected patients.
Outcome of the treatment
In mild to moderate cases of infection, treatment response is fairly good in almost 90 percent of cases. However, the response outcome is good in approximately 50 to 60 percent of the cases when the infection is deeper. When infection penetrates deeper, thorough debridement may be needed. Infections can recur in some cases.