Aims This is the 2023 International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot guideline on the prevention of foot ulcers in persons with diabetes, which updates the 2019 guideline. This guideline is targeted at clinicians and other healthcare professionals. Materials and Methods We followed the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations methodology to devise clinical questions and critically important outcomes in the PICO format, to conduct a systematic review of the medical-scientific literature including, where appropriate, meta-analyses, and to write recommendations and their rationale. The recommendations are based on the quality of evidence found in the systematic review, expert opinion where (sufficient) evidence was not available, and a weighing of the desirable and undesirable effects of an intervention, as well as patient preferences, costs, equity, feasibility and applicability. Results We recommend screening a person with diabetes at very low risk of foot ulceration annually for the loss of protective sensation and peripheral artery disease, and screening persons at higher risk at higher frequencies for additional risk factors. For preventing a foot ulcer, educate persons at-risk about appropriate foot self-care, educate not to walk without suitable foot protection, and treat any pre-ulcerative lesion on the foot. Educate moderate-to-high risk people with diabetes to wear properly fitting, accommodative, therapeutic footwear, and consider coaching them to monitor foot skin temperature. Prescribe therapeutic footwear that has a demonstrated plantar pressure relieving effect during walking, to help prevent plantar foot ulcer recurrence. Consider advising people at low-to-moderate risk to undertake a, preferably supervised, foot-ankle exercise programme to reduce ulcer risk factors, and consider communicating that a total increase in weight-bearing activity of 1000 steps/day is likely safe with regards to risk of ulceration. In people with non-rigid hammertoe with pre-ulcerative lesion, consider flexor tendon tenotomy. We suggest not to use a nerve decompression procedure to help prevent foot ulcers. Provide integrated foot care for moderate-to-high-risk people with diabetes to help prevent (recurrence of) ulceration. Conclusions These recommendations should help healthcare professionals to provide better care for persons with diabetes at risk of foot ulceration, to increase the number of ulcer-free days and reduce the patient and healthcare burden of diabetes-related foot disease.



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Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews



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School of Health Professions