Foot ulcers have been implicated as a causative factor in diabetic foot amputations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate treating foot ulcers in patients with diabetes by percutaneous tenotomy.

We retrospectively reviewed the computerized medical files of 83 patients treated for foot ulcers by percutaneous tenotomies. Results were analyzed on the basis of indication and per patient.

The 83 patients had 160 tenotomies for 4 indications: 103 tip-of-toe ulcers (treated by flexor digitorum longus tenotomy), 26 cock-up/dorsal ulcers (extensor digitorum longus tenotomy), 21 kissing ulcers (extensor digitorum longus and/or flexor digitorum longus tenotomies), and 10 plantar metatarsal ulcers (extensor digitorum longus with or without flexor digitorum longus tenotomy). Healing at 4 weeks was 98%, 96%, 81%, and 0%, respectively. The complication rate was very low, with the exception of "transfer lesions," where an adjacent toe became involved and needed subsequent tenotomy in 8% of tip-of-toe ulcers.

Percutaneous tenotomy was an effective and safe method for treating toe ulcers in neuropathic patients. It was not effective in treating plantar metatarsal ulcers.

Level IV, case series.

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