Background: Losses in muscle strength, balance, and gait are common in patients with chronic stroke (CS). Ankle joint movements play a key role in this population to maintain a sufficient level of functional activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the subtalar joint (STJ) mobilization with movement (MWM) technique on muscle strength, balance, functional performance, and gait speed (GS) in patients with CS.
Methods: Twenty-eight patients with CS were randomly divided into the control group (n = 14) and the STJ MWM group (n = 14). A 30-min neurodevelopmental treatment program and talocrural joint MWM were applied to both groups. Also, STJ MWM was applied to the STJ MWM group. The patients were treated 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion muscle strength, Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test, and GS were evaluated before and after treatment.
Results: Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go test scores, dorsiflexion and plantarflexion muscle strength, and GS improved in both groups after the treatment sessions (P < .05), but the improvements were greater in the STJ MWM group compared with the control group (P < .05).
Conclusions: According to these results, STJ MWM together with neurodevelopmental treatment and talocrural joint MWM can increase ankle muscle strength, balance, functional performance, and GS on the affected leg in patients with CS.
Background: Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal nail infection caused predominantly by dermatophytes, and less commonly by nondermatophyte molds and Candida species. Onychomycosis treatment includes oral and topical antifungals, the efficacy of which is evaluated through randomized, double-blind, controlled trials for US Food and Drug Administration approval. The primary efficacy measure is complete cure (complete mycologic and clinical cure). The secondary measures are clinical cure (usually ≤10% involvement of target nail) and mycologic cure (negative microscopy and culture). Some lasers are US Food and Drug Administration approved for the mild temporary increase in clear nail; however, some practitioners attempt to use lasers to treat and cure onychomycosis.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed in July of 2020 to evaluate the efficacy rates demonstrated by randomized controlled trials of laser monotherapy for dermatophyte onychomycosis of the great toenail.
Results: Randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of laser monotherapy for dermatophyte toenail onychomycosis are limited. Many studies measured cure rates by means of nails instead of patients, and performed only microscopy or culture, not both. Only one included study reported mycologic cure rate in patients as negative light microscopy and culture (0%). The combined clinical cure rates in short- and long-pulsed laser studies were 13.0%–16.7% and 25.9%, respectively. There was no study that reported the complete cure rate; however, one did report treatment success (mycologic cure [negative microscopy and culture] and ≤10% clinical involvement) in nails as 16.7%.
Conclusions: The effectiveness of lasers as a therapeutic intervention for dermatophyte toenail onychomycosis is limited based on complete, mycologic, and clinical cure rates. However, it may be possible to use different treatment parameters or lasers with a different wavelength to increase the efficacy. Lasers could be a potential management option for older patients and onychomycosis patients with coexisting conditions such as diabetes, liver, and/or kidney diseases for whom systemic antifungal agents are contraindicated or have failed.
Background: Point-of-care testing for infection might help podiatric physicians optimize management of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Glycologic’s proprietary GLYWD product has been developed to detect changes in a patient’s immunologic/inflammatory response related to wound infection. We evaluated how bacterial presence in DFUs relates to GLYWD test outcome.
Methods: This was a single-organization, prospective, controlled cohort study of clinical opinion versus GLYWD test result for DFU infection status and the appraisal of bacterial presence in the wounds and semiquantitative microbiology swab at weeks 0, 3, 6, 12, and 18. Spearman correlation, backward elimination linear regression, and principal components analysis were applied to determine which variables, including degree of bacterial load, are associated with a positive clinical opinion or GLYWD result for DFU infection.
Results: Forty-eight patients were enrolled, and 142 complete wound appraisals were conducted; a consensus outcome between clinical opinion and GLYWD result was achieved in most (n = 122, 86%). Clinical opinion significantly correlated with a higher bacterial load (Spearman rho = 0.38; P < .01), whereas GLYWD did not (rho = –0.010; P = .91). This observation was corroborated with logistic regression analysis, in which a previous observation of both clinical opinion and GLYWD associating with wound purulence and erythema was also confirmed.
Conclusions: Podiatric physicians are guided by hallmark signs of DFU infection, such as erythema and purulence; furthermore, we found that clinical opinion of infection correlates with increased bacterial load. GLYWD test results match clinical opinion in most cases, although the results obtained with this point-of-care method suggest that the degree of bacterial presence might not necessarily mean a higher chance of inducing an immunologic/inflammatory host response to said bacteria.
Background: The evaluation of musculoskeletal pain in podiatric medical practice is mainly based on anamnesis and manual examination. However, when manual palpation is performed, the digital pressure necessary to adequately explore the different structures of the foot is unknown. We evaluated the pressure pain threshold in forefoot structures to determine the intensity and duration of the stimulus as clinically relevant and representative.
Methods: In a transversal analytical study of 15 healthy individuals, 16 forefoot points were explored with a handheld pressure palpometer calibrated to exert maximum pressing force of 1.0 or 2.0 kilogram-force (kgf) applied during 5 or 10 sec. The combinations of the different pressures and intervals were selected randomly. Participants had to self-rate the pressure pain sensitivity of each stimuli on a 100-mm horizontal line (0–100 numeric rating scale), setting the pain threshold to 50 (100 being pain as bad as it could be). Likewise, aftersensation and referred pain patterns were recorded.
Results: All participants indicated painful stimuli at some of the 16 forefoot points studied in the experimental protocol when pressure was applied with the 2.0-kgf palpometer; 53.3% showed evidence of pain at any forefoot point when the 1.0-kgf palpometer was used. The odds of evoking a painful sensation are 9.8 times higher when using a 2.0-kgf palpometer versus a 1.0-kgf palpometer. In addition, referred sensations were observed with a significantly higher frequency when applying the 2.0-kgf palpometer.
Conclusions: Bone and soft structures show differences in pressure sensitivity, increasing significantly when applying higher pressure force. Soft structures, specifically intermetatarsal spaces, showed the lowest pain pressure thresholds. More research is needed to better understand pressure pain response.
Background: The practice of flamenco dance involves great biomechanical demands, comparable with a high-performance sport. The technical movements of the footwork tap, the jumps, and the turns increase the prevalence of injuries and pathologic disorders of the foot and lower limb. Limited research has examined adaptation of the foot posture and dorsiflexion of the ankle in flamenco dancing. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate whether the practice of flamenco dancing produces modifications in the ankle’s dorsiflexion range of motion, Foot Posture Index, or pronation.
Methods: A cross-sectional observational study with intentional sampling was performed with 26 individuals (52 feet) in two groups: professional female flamenco dancers (n = 13) and nondancers (n = 13). The participants were assessed in a single session for ankle dorsiflexion, foot pronation (navicular drop test), and foot posture (Foot Posture Index).
Results: Significant differences were found between the two groups for left foot Foot Posture Index (P = .007) and right foot navicular drop test (P = .006).
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that flamenco dancing can produce modifications in the Foot Posture Index and foot pronation versus nondancers. Further research is required.
Background: Diabetic lower-extremity disease is the primary driver of mortality in patients with diabetes. Amputations at the forefoot or ankle preserve limb length, increase function, and, ultimately, reduce deconditioning and mortality compared with higher-level amputations, such as below-the-knee amputations (BKAs). We sought to identify risk factors associated with amputation level to understand barriers to length-preserving amputations (LPAs).
Methods: Diabetic lower-extremity admissions were extracted from the 2012-2014 National Inpatient Survey using ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes. The main outcome was a two-level variable consisting of LPAs (transmetatarsal, Syme, and Chopart) versus BKAs. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine contributions of patient- and hospital-level factors to likelihood of undergoing LPA versus BKA.
Results: The study cohort represented 110,355 admissions nationally: 42,375 LPAs and 67,980 BKAs. The population was predominantly white (56.85%), older than 50 years (82.55%), and male (70.38%). On multivariate analysis, living in an urban area (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.48; P < .0001) and having vascular intervention in the same hospital stay (RRR = 2.96; P < .0001) were predictive of LPA. Patients from rural locations but treated in urban centers were more likely to receive BKA. Minorities were more likely to present with severe disease, limiting delivery of LPAs. A high Elixhauser comorbidity score was related to BKA receipt.
Conclusions: This study identifies delivery biases in amputation level for patients without access to large, urban hospitals. Rural patients seeking care in these centers are more likely to receive higher-level amputations. Further examination is required to determine whether earlier referral to multidisciplinary centers is more effective at reducing BKA rates versus satellite centers in rural localities.
Background: Fungal foot infection is a common superficial fungal infection and is recognized as an important public health problem. Related to the wearing of occlusive footwear, foot infection is usually caused by dermatophytes and nondermatophyte molds. Previous in vitro studies have demonstrated that zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) have antimicrobial activity against fungi. This study, therefore, evaluated the ability of socks coated with ZnO-NPs to inhibit fungal growth in an in vitro model mimicking real-life situations.
Methods: Scale from patients with fungal foot infections was equally divided into three groups: control, plain socks, and ZnO-NP socks. The specimens in the control group were routinely fungal cultured, whereas in the plain sock and ZnO-NP sock groups, scale was incubated with plain socks and ZnO-NP socks, respectively, for 24 hours. After incubation, each piece of sock was cultured. The fungal culture results of the three groups were progressively evaluated for 4 weeks.
Results: From 31 specimens, the positive fungal culture results of the control, plain sock, and ZnO-NP sock groups were 100%, 64.5%, and 54.8%, respectively. Specimens incubated with plain socks (P = .001) or with ZnO-NP socks (P < .001) had a significant reduction in the number of positive fungal cultures compared with the control.
Conclusions: Plain socks and ZnO-NP socks significantly inhibited fungal growth relative to the control. The wearing of either plain socks or ZnO-NP socks can prevent fungal foot infection because these socks act as a barrier to the insoles of shoes.
Background: The biomechanics of the foot and leg are responsible for shock absorption during human gait. Lack of shock absorption is known to be a key component of knee pain. This study compares a new model of shoe sole with a built-in modification intended to absorb shock with a traditional sole shoe to examine whether shoe design modifications can help alleviate knee pain.
Methods: A double-blind randomized controlled study was performed. Fifty-two adults with overuse symptoms of knee pain, either unilateral or bilateral, were enrolled and randomly assigned to use the intervention sole or the traditional sole shoes. For 5 weeks, participants wore either the shoe with the intervention sole or the shoe with the traditional sole, rating their knee pain on a 10-point visual analog scale at study onset, midway, and study completion.
Results: After 5 weeks, participants using the intervention sole shoe reported an average reduction in knee pain of 85%, significantly better than participants using the traditional sole shoe (P < .001), whose average pain scores increased. Positive effects on back and foot pain were also observed in those with the intervention sole shoe compared with the traditional sole shoe.
Conclusions: The intervention shock-absorbing sole represents an approach to midsole and outsole construction that can potentially increase shock absorption and decrease knee pain during prolonged standing and walking.
Background: The human foot, containing approximately 26 bones, is highly developed for movement, balance, and weightbearing. It is modified into medial longitudinal, lateral longitudinal, and transverse arches which, in addition to the above functions, play a role in protecting the plantar tissues and neurovascular structures. Morphometry of the navicular bone, one of the bones of the foot that plays an important role in the medial longitudinal arch, was investigated in this study.
Methods: One hundred fifty adult dry navicular bones were used. Navicular breadth, height, maximum thickness, maximum talar facet height and breadth, maximum cuneiform facet height and breadth, and maximum navicular tuberosity projection height were measured using digital Vernier callipers. The anatomical features were used to determine the side. Bones with features that suggested previous fractures or any previous disease were excluded from this study. Ethical approval was obtained from the Research Ethics Committee of the Department of Anatomy, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria.
Results: The navicular bone showed great variations in its left and right sides, with the values of the dimensions on the left being higher than the right.
Conclusions: An understanding of these variations will be helpful to medical scientists, osteologists, and orthopedic surgeons during surgical interventions on navicular bone fracture and accessory navicular syndrome.
Pseudoaneurysms are created by a traumatic or iatrogenic perforation of an artery, resulting in accumulation of blood between the two outermost layers of a blood vessel, the tunica media and tunica adventitia. Pedal artery pseudoaneurysms are an extremely uncommon complication of foot and ankle surgery; therefore, few cases have been reported in the literature. Early diagnosis is important to ensure timely treatment of this condition. Once clinical suspicion has been established, urgent referral to vascular surgery for prompt surgical evaluation is required to prevent potentially harmful sequalae. We present the case of a 70-year-old female who developed a pseudoaneurysm of the dorsalis pedis artery 33 days after undergoing open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) of a second metatarsal fracture. Her treatment included urgent referral to vascular surgery with subsequent surgical repair of the pseudoaneurysm via ligation of the medial dorsal branch of the dorsalis pedis artery. At 10-month follow-up, she denied any pain, sensory deficits, or functional disability and had returned to all preinjury activities with no recurrence of the pseudoaneurysm. Our case study demonstrates early diagnosis and successful treatment of a pseudoaneurysm of the dorsalis pedis artery that developed shorty after ORIF of a second metatarsal fracture.