BACKGROUND:
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.

METHODS:
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.

RESULTS:
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.

CONCLUSIONS:
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 OF EVIDENCE:
Level IV, case series.





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