Debridement is the removal of necrotic tissue, foreign debris, bacterial growth, callus, wound edge, and wound bed tissue from chronic wounds in order to stimulate the wound healing process. Stimulation of wound healing mediated by debridement is thought to occur by the conversion of a chronic non-healing wound environment to an acute healing environment through the removal of cells that are not responsive to endogenous healing stimuli. Debridement is used commonly in standard wound treatment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Methods of debridement include surgery (sharp debridement), chemical debridement (antiseptics, polysaccharide beads, pastes), autolytic (hydrogels, hydrocolloids and transparent films), biosurgery (maggots), mechanical (hydrodebridement), and biochemical debridement (enzyme preparations). Callus is a buildup of keratinized skin formed under conditions of repeated pressure or friction and may contribute to ulcer formation by creating focal areas of high plantar pressure. The debridement of callus has been proposed to be relevant for both treatment and prevention of DFU.
The purpose of this report is to retrieve and review existing evidence of comparative clinical effectiveness of different methods of debridement for the treatment of DFUs. Additionally examined in this report is the clinical effectiveness for treatment and prevention of DFU using callus debridement. Cost-effectiveness, and existing debridement guidelines for the treatment of DFUs will also be reviewed.