Healing rates in diabetes-related foot ulcers using low frequency ultrasonic debridement versus non-surgical sharps debridement: a randomised controlled trial Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Current clinical practice varies around debridement techniques used to promote healing of diabetes-related foot ulcers. This randomised controlled study will compare healing rates for diabetes-related foot ulcers treated with low frequency ultrasonic debridement versus non-surgical sharps debridement. Individuals with diabetes-related foot ulcers being managed by podiatry at a metropolitan hospital were screened against study criteria. Eligible participants were randomly allocated to either the non-surgical sharps debridement group or the low frequency ultrasonic debridement group and received weekly treatment for 6 months. Participants also completed a quality of life measure and visual analogue pain scale. RESULTS:This trial was ended early due to recruitment issues. Ten participants with 14 ulcers participated. Results were analysed using a survival analysis approach. Ulcers treated with non-surgical sharps debridement healed more quickly (61.6 days ± 24.4) compared with low frequency ultrasonic debridement (117.6 days ± 40.3). In both groups, quality of life was observed to improve as ulcers healed and pain levels reduced as ulcers improved. Observations from this study found faster healing using non-surgical sharps debridement. However, these results are unable to be generalised due to the small sample size. Further research is recommended. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry: ACTRN12612000490875.

publication date

  • 2018