Diabetic foot ulcers in conjunction with lower limb lymphedema: pathophysiology and treatment procedures

Muholan Kanapathy, Mark J. Portou, Janice Tsui, Toby Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are complex, chronic, and progressive wounds, and have a significant impact on morbidity, mortality, and quality of life. A particular aspect of DFU that has not been reviewed extensively thus far is its management in conjunction with peripheral limb edema. Peripheral limb edema is a feature of diabetes that has been identified as a significant risk factor for amputation in patients with DFU. Three major etiological factors in development of lymphedema with concurrent DFU are diabetic microangiopathy, failure of autonomic regulation, and recurrent infection. This review outlines the pathophysiology of lymphedema formation in patients with DFU and highlights the cellular and immune components of impaired wound healing in lymphedematous DFU. We then discuss the principles of management of DFU in conjunction with lymphedema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalChronic Wound Care Management and Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this