Abstract

Background


Although the health status of all Americans has improved substantially in the past century, gender and ethnic disparities still persist. Gender and ethnic disparities in diabetic foot management and amputations are an important but largely ignored issue in musculoskeletal health care.

Questions/purposes


Our purposes were to (1) clarify where we are now, (2) describe ways to get where we need to go, and (3) suggest solutions for how we get there, with respect to gender and ethnic disparities in diabetic foot management and amputations.

Where are we now?


Studies investigating socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and biologic contributing factors on gender and ethnic musculoskeletal healthcare disparities have found no single root cause. Studies into disparities in diabetic foot management and amputation have discordant methodologies and most are retrospective. Effective intervention strategies to eliminate these disparities are nonexistent.

Where do we need to go?


The orthopaedic leadership should lead the movement to create a clearly defined strategy and assist young investigators to gain access to large datasets to study this problem. Orthopaedic specialty society leaders should help to create valid outcome tools, especially on peripheral vascular disease and amputations.

How do we get there?


The working group proposed a three-pronged strategy of education, research, and advocacy to help address this problem.

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