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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


Aims: The aims of this study were to 1) determine if vacuum assisted closure therapy (VAC) helps assist closure in diabetic foot ulcers and wounds secondary to peripheral vascular disease, 2) if it helps debride wounds and 3) if it prevents the need for further surgery

Materials and Methods: 15 patients were reviewed, average age 49.3yrs at an average of 6.3 months (1–18months). Ten patients had diabetes (8 IDDM) with 5 patients having grade 3 ulcers (Wagner-Meggitt). All wounds were surgically debrided prior to the application of the VAC therapy. The VAC therapy was applied according to the manufacturers instrucrtions. The main outcome measures were 1) time to satisfactory wound closure 2) change in the wound surface area and 3) need for further surgery

Results: Satisfactory healing was achieved in 11 patients (73.3%). 10 were diabetic, 5 patients had peripheral vascular disease and 5 patients had both. The time to satisfactory healing was 2.5 months, average 1–6 months. The average size of the wound ulcer was 7.41cm2 (2–10cm2) prior to treatment and 1.58cm2 (0–2cm2) following treatment in an average of 2.5 months. VAC therapy helped debride all non healing wounds following surgical debridement. In 10 patients, the need for further radical surgery, namely amputation, was avoided.

Conclusion: VAC therapy is a useful adjunct to the standard treatment of chronic wound /ulcers in patients with diabetes with or without periphearl vascular disease. Its use in foot and ankle surgery leads to a quick wound closure and in some cases avoids the need for further surgery with a potential for limb salvage.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.