Abstract Title:

Compressed air massage hastens healing of the diabetic foot.

Abstract Source:

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2008 Feb;10(1):39-45. PMID: 18275361

Abstract Author(s):

M Mars, Y Desai, M A Gregory

Article Affiliation:

Department of TeleHealth, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag 7, Congella 4013, South Africa. [email protected]


BACKGROUND: The management of diabetic foot ulcers remains a problem. A treatment modality that uses compressed air massage has been developed as a supplement to standard surgical and medical treatment. Compressed air massage is thought to improve local tissue oxygenation around ulcers. The aim of this study was to determine whether the addition of compressed air massage influences the rate of healing of diabetic ulcers. METHODS: Sixty consecutive patients with diabetes, admitted to one hospital for urgent surgical management of diabetic foot ulcers, were randomized into two groups. Both groups received standard medical and surgical management of their diabetes and ulcer. In addition, one group received 15-20 min of compressed air massage, at 1 bar pressure, daily, for 5 days a week, to the foot and the tissue around the ulcer. Healing time was calculated as the time from admission to the time of re-epithelialization. RESULTS: Fifty-seven patients completed the trial; 28 received compressed air massage. There was no difference in the mean age, Wagner score, ulcer size, pulse status, or peripheral sensation in the two groups. The time to healing in the compressed air massage group was significantly reduced: 58.1 +/- 22.3 days (95% confidence interval: 49.5-66.6) versus 82.7 +/- 30.7 days (95% confidence interval: 70.0-94.3) (P = 0.001). No adverse effects in response to compressed air massage were noted. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of compressed air massage to standard medical and surgical management of diabetic ulcers appears to enhance ulcer healing. Further studies with this new treatment modality are warranted.

Study Type : Human Study

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