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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Jun;82(6):721-5.

Electric stimulation as an adjunct to heal diabetic foot ulcers: a randomized clinical trial.

Author information

1
Mexican American Medical Treatment Effectiveness Research Center, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate high-voltage, pulse-galvanic electric stimulation as an adjunct to healing diabetic foot ulcers.

DESIGN:

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial.

SETTING:

University medical center.

PATIENTS:

Forty patients with diabetic foot ulcers, consecutively sampled. Twenty patients each assigned to treatment and placebo groups. Five patients (2 treated, 3 placebo) withdrew because of severe infection.

INTERVENTIONS:

Electric stimulation through a microcomputer every night for 8 hours. The placebo group used identical functioning units that delivered no current. Additional wound care consisted of weekly d├ębridements, topical hydrogel, and off-loading with removable cast walkers. Patients were followed for 12 weeks or until healing, whichever occurred first.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Proportion of wounds that healed during the study period. Compliance with use of device (in hr/wk), rate of wound healing, and time until healing.

RESULTS:

Sixty-five percent of the patients healed in the group treated with stimulation, whereas 35% healed with placebo (p = .058). After stratification by compliance, a significant difference was identified among compliant patients in the treatment group (71% healed), noncompliant patients in the treatment group (50% healed), compliant patients in the placebo group (39% healed), and noncompliant patients in the placebo group (29% healed, linear-by-linear association = 4.32, p = .038). There was no significant difference in compliance between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSION:

Electric simulation enhances wound healing when used in conjunction with appropriate off-loading and local wound care.

PMID:
11387573
DOI:
10.1053/apmr.2001.23780
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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