Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) are a vast but under-recognized problem. An estimated 34.2 million people in the US suffer from diabetes and their lifetime risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer is 34%, of which more than 50% will become infected. One in three individuals with diabetic foot ulcers will ultimately have a lower extremity amputation. In the US, the mortality rate for diabetic foot ulcer patients with amputation exceeds the mortality rate for half of the top 10 cancers. Early detection and treatment of diabetic foot complications are essential for proper disease management, as there is a high risk of recurrence: one in five people with diabetic foot ulcer will experience a recurrence within 90 days, two in five within 12 months, and three in five within 24 months. Limb preservation research at Rancho as part of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) works at the forefront of the application of novel strategies for early detection and high-quality treatment of DFU critical for avoiding and/or alleviating the debilitating effects of this condition. Our studies range from state-of-the-art footwear, [DK1] to technologically advanced dressings[DK2] , to cutting edge gene therapy[DK3] treatment to promote prevention and healing of diabetic foot complications, and eliminate preventable amputations in our patients to wearable robots and human-machine interfaces.
As mentioned above, Rancho’s Limb Preservation research forms an integral part of the The Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. to advance care of the diabetic foot and prevention of amputations in North America and worldwide. These efforts have led to novel alliances with a broad range of tech and academic collaborators, worldwide.