Endocrine Abstracts (2013) 32 MTE16 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.32.MTE16

Diabetic foot disease for endocrinologists

Anthony Coll


Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Foot complications are common in people with diabetes. As the incidence of diabetes continues to rise and an increasingly aged population accrue substantial numbers of non-reversible, chronic disease processes, the burden of diabetic foot disease can only grow. Ulceration and amputation are associated with high mortality, reduced quality of life and significant financial cost to both patient and health care provider.

The management of diabetic foot disease is not the preserve of a single specialism, surgical or medical. Rather, there is an absolute requirement for a multi-faceted team to attend to the myriad of pathological processes which are increasingly seen in affected patients.

By its very nature endocrinology requires an understanding of how disorders in one system can have ramifications in sites some way distant. Endocrinologists are trained to assess pathophysiology in an integrated and holistic manner, are well used to working in multidisciplinary teams in other aspects of their practice and are therefore well placed to take on an important role at the heart of a service addressing the needs of a fragile patient group.

The heterogeneity of the patient population makes definitive guidelines a challenge and the lack of a robust evidence base for interventions can engender a lukewarm response in the face of a pressing clinical need. Using ‘real world’ clinical examples, this session will cover the common clinical presentations of acute foot disease and consider how to utilise the skills and input from all members of the clinical team in tackling and successfully managing this oft neglected area to good effect.

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