Advancements in wound care management have exploded onto the diabetic foot scene in recent years. The impact is enormous and the number of foot amputations is decreasing as a result. These technologies go hand in hand with standard wound care and are being introduced by the surgeons and physicians actively treating diabetic foot infections. It is not that the new technologies are offered separately, these new treatments are often applied within the spectrum of the standard podiatry service.

The actual treatments have by and large followed our interest in regenerative medicine. There are treatments, such as regranex, based on our knowledge of growth factors in the healing process. There are others, such as graft jacket which uses a bioactive structural matrix designed to fill a gaping wound and others utilising the healing properties of living tissues such as apligraft or dermagraft. There are collagen matrix grafts such as integra and there are other technologies that base their practice on stem cell technology.

The short answer to the question is yes, these technologies do represent major advances for wound healing in certain situations. The treatments are many and varied and they have different approaches. Understanding how useful they are will depend upon rigorously conducted randomised controlled trials. Some have been through this process and have been approved for general use, others are still in the assessment phase.

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