Author(s): Lilakumari Subramoniam1, Balachandran Parapattu Kunjukunju2
Deformity prevention is one of the top priorities in leprosy elimination programme. Plantar ulcer and foot deformities are commonly seen in leprosy patients causing considerable physical disability. This can be prevented by early and regular MDT, proper practice of feet care, correction of deformities and management of infections. The study was to assess the above factors contributing to the development and recurrences of plantar ulcers among our leprosy patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
66 leprosy patients with plantar ulcers were evaluated for delay of treatment, practice of feet care, site of ulcer, concomitant deformities and bone changes. Identification of infective agent is done by culture and sensitivity test.
Majority of patients belonged to the borderline spectrum. Delay in starting anti-leprosy treatment ranged from 2 months to 12 years. The main reasons for the delay in treatment are the patients ignored the lesions because they are asymptomatic or treatment with other modalities like homeo/ayurvedic drugs. 92% of patients studied were not practicing feet care. Common site of ulcer was beneath the heads of metatarsals and big toe. Foot drop was seen in 15% and claw toes in 33%. Osteomyelitis observed in 20% of patients. Common pathogen isolated was staphylococcus seen in 75% of cases followed by Streptococcus and Klebsiella. 50% of Staphylococci isolated were found to be penicillin resistant.
The occurrence of plantar ulcers and its complications are not an inevitable sequelae of leprosy and is totally preventable if appropriate measures are undertaken.