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To reduce diabetes-related complications and to avoid futile procedures, foot and ankle surgeons need to understand the relative timings of catastrophic events, their incidence, and probabilities of transitions between disease states in diabetes in different patient populations. For this study, we tracked medical events (including an initial diagnosis of diabetes, ulcer, wound care, osteomyelitis, amputation, and reamputation, in order of severity) and the time between each such event in patients with diabetes, stratifying by sex, race, and ethnicity. We found that the longest average duration between the different lower extremity states was a diagnosis of diabetes to the occurrence of ulcer at 1137 days (38 months). The average durations of amputation to reamputation, osteomyelitis, wound care, and ulcer were 18, 49, 23, and 18 days, respectively. The length of each disease transition for females was greater, while those of the Hispanic population were shorter than in the total cohort. This knowledge may permit surgeons to time and tailor treatments to their patients, and help patients to address, delay, or avoid complications.


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Publication Title

The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery

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Available for download on Thursday, June 12, 2025

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Podiatry Commons