Mechanically assisted, delayed primary closure of diabetic foot wounds

David G. Armstrong, Lawrence A. Lavery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The authors evaluated the time to healing and prevalence of complications in patients undergoing mechanically assisted, delayed primary closure of diabetic foot wounds compared with a similar population who received standard wound care. A total of 55 patients were enrolled for study, with 25 in the experimental group and 30 in the control group. Patients in the experimental (stretch) group underwent mechanically assisted primary closure of their wounds using a skin-stretching device. There was no difference between the stretch and control groups with regard to any descriptive characteristics, including wound chronicity. Although the wounds were over three times as large on average in the stretch group (P < .001), the stretch group reached full epithelialization approximately 40% sooner than the control group (26.4 ± 16.0 versus 42.5 ± 19.9 days; P < .002). Eighty-eight percent of patients in the stretch group experienced wound dehiscence, at a mean time of 1.8 ± 0.6 weeks following mechanically assisted closure. However, patients who experienced dehiscence in the stretch group healed significantly faster than patients in the control group (27.4 ± 16.7 versus 42.5 ± 19.9 days; P < .007). The results of this study suggest that mechanically assisted closure of diabetic foot wounds may result in reduced healing time compared with healing by secondary intention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-488
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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