Journal of Clinical Images and Case Reports

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Tropical Diabetic Hand Syndrome: A Case Report with an Overview of Literature

Background: Hand infections amongst patients living with diabetes are common in the tropical region and remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Tropical diabetic hand syndrome is the term that has been coined for diabetic hand infections that commonly occur in the tropics. This syndrome is not known to many physicians especially in sub-Saharan Africa and consequently it is overlooked and underreported. This indexed case is reported to create more awareness on the existence of tropical diabetic hand syndrome.

Case presentation: We report the case of 57 year-old black African driver, newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus after he presented with a life threatening infection of the right hand for which a diagnosis of Lawal Group 3 right diabetic hand syndrome was made which eventually led to amputation of the right thumb.

Conclusion: Although tropical diabetic hand syndrome is associated with a high morbidity and mortality, its occurrence has been underreported by many medical practitioners in sub-Saharan Africa. Education of diabetic patients on hand care and appropriate glycaemic control is a cost-effective and easier way to prevent the occurrence of tropical diabetic hand syndrome.

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