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Foot ulcers, a common complication of diabetes, are the leading cause of lower-extremity amputations in the United States. Now researchers at the Washing-ton University School of Medicine have identified the changes that take place in the structure of the feet of people with diabetes?information that can lead to the treatment and prevention of foot ulcers.
Using computed tomography to display a 3-D image, they found that their subjects with diabetes had much lower muscle density on the soles of their feet.They also found that bone changes are another key element in diabetes-related foot ulcers. Low muscle density in the soles changes the joints, causing a change in how they bear the body?s weight. People with diabetes also had more joint disease than those in the control group.