Background: Hypertension is a highly prevalent condition in the general population, conferring a high risk of significant morbidity and mortality. Associated with the condition are many well-characterized controllable and noncontrollable risk factors. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of hypertension in the outpatient podiatric medical clinic setting and to determine the relevance of hypertension risk factors in this setting.
Methods: A survey tool was created to characterize relevant risk factors, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were recorded. Descriptive statistics were generated after conclusion of enrollment. Analysis was also performed to determine the relationship between individual risk factors and systolic blood pressure.
Results: Of the 176 patients, 56 (31.8%) had an incidentally high blood pressure at intake, including 18.5% of patients without a known history of hypertension and 38.5% with a known history of hypertension. Three risk factors were found to be significantly associated with increasing systolic blood pressure: weight (P = .022), stress level (P = .017), and presence of renal artery stenosis (P = .021). There was also a near–statistically significant inverse relationship between systolic blood pressure and amount of time spent exercising (P = .068).
Conclusions: Overall, a relatively high prevalence of incidental hypertension was identified, including among patients not previously diagnosed as having hypertension. Consideration of risk factors and awareness of the prevalence of the condition can be useful for practitioners, even as they manage presenting podiatric medical concerns. Future investigations may consider interventional or preventive strategies in the outpatient clinic setting.
Background: Limited safety information has been described in the peer-reviewed literature for callus-softening products containing potassium hydroxide.
Methods: This pilot human use study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of a commercially available callus softener, containing less than 10% potassium hydroxide by weight. Baseline callused skin was scored (grade 1–4) on each study participant’s feet (n = 10). Participants’ feet were soaked and then a licensed manicurist applied a callus softener product to the right foot, which remained on callused skin for 3 to 5 minutes (no callus softener was applied to the participant’s left foot). Both feet were then wiped with a wet towel, and a foot rasp was used to file the callused skin, beginning on the left foot. Callused skin was scored and participants’ feet were evaluated by a physician immediately after use, 1 day after use, and 1 week after use for the presence or absence of skin irritation, adverse skin reactions, and chemical burns.
Results: No adverse events were reported by study participants or the physician for all evaluation time points. Each participant’s highest callus grade score on the treated foot either improved or remained the same following product use (compared to baseline). Mean callus grade scores were 1.75 at baseline, 1.55 immediately after use, 1.25 1 day after use, and 1.50 1 week after use.
Conclusions: Results from this pilot study suggest that callus-softening products containing less than 10% potassium hydroxide are likely to be safe and effective products under intended use scenarios of 3- to 5-minute application times, as dictated by product label instructions.
Unstable fracture-dislocation of the ankle is a common lower-extremity injury. Treatment is challenging when the fracture-dislocation is open and cannot be treated with conventional open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Immediate ORIF may not be possible for severe, unstable ankle injuries, such as those with ischemic foot because of a poor blood supply caused by soft-tissue injury, or open fracture-dislocation of the ankle with a deltoid ligament rupture. We describe a staged treatment for unstable open fracture-dislocation of the ankle with a deltoid ligament rupture. The first stage involves temporary vertical transarticular pinning combined with external fixation. The second stage involves delayed definitive plating with autogenous bone graft for the bone defect of the distal fibula. This staged management is useful in select emergency cases of unstable open fracture-dislocations of the ankle combined with deltoid ligament rupture for which conventional ORIF cannot be performed.
People suffering from diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcerations which, if left untreated, could also lead to amputation. Monitoring of the foot temperature can help in the prevention of these foot complications, and various studies have shown that elevated temperatures may be indicative of ulceration. Over the years, there have been various devices that were designed for foot temperature monitoring, for both clinical and home use. The technologies used included infrared thermometry, liquid crystal thermography, infrared thermography, and a vast range of analogue and digital temperature sensors incorporated into different measurement platforms. All these systems are able to collect thermal data from the foot, with some being able to acquire data only when the foot is stationary and others being able to acquire data from the foot in motion, which can give more in-depth insight into any emerging problems. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available literature related to the technologies used in these systems, outlining the benefits of each and what further developments may be required to make the foot temperature analysis more effective.
Toenail onychomycosis is a common condition that is equally challenging for podiatrists and patients. This case study documents a 26-year-old woman with bilateral total dystrophic onychomycosis of at least 5 years’ duration. She had previously failed to respond to treatment with ciclopirox nail lacquer 8% and, despite hiding her condition with nail polish, was suffering from embarrassment, distress, and low self-esteem. At initial consultation, 100% of both great toenails was affected. After discussion of all treatment options, the patient opted for topical efinaconazole 10% solution, once daily for 48 weeks. Significant improvement was noted at the first (4-week) assessment period. This improvement was maintained through each subsequent virtual consultation, and complete cure was seen at a 30-week follow-up visit. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first published report on the use of efinaconazole in total dystrophic onychomycosis. It suggests that the product may be effective in patients with even the most severe and treatment-recalcitrant disease, who are unwilling or unable to tolerate systemic antifungal therapy.
Background: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of musculoskeletal discomfort. Minimally invasive interventions are preferred as second-line treatments following failure of conservative management. We report on a novel technique of ultrasound-guided percutaneous release of the medial third of the plantar fascia with the use of a fine cutting device for the treatment of persistent plantar fasciitis.
Methods: This is a retrospective case series of all patients treated with the technique between 2013 and 2015. Patients had failed conservative management for a minimum of 6 months. The procedure was performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Under continuous ultrasound guidance, release of the medial third of the plantar fascia from the calcaneus was performed using an ophthalmic V-Lance knife through a medial stab wound entry point.
Results: Fifteen patients (six men and nine women) with an average age of 54.7 years were included. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) visual analogue scale score for pain improved significantly, from 66.0 (SD, 18.8) preoperatively to each consecutive follow-up point: 29.3 (SD, 25.2) at 2 weeks, 30.0 (SD, 27.8) at 4 weeks, and 34.0 (SD, 26.1) at 12 weeks (P < .001). The mild increase in visual analogue scale score between 4 and 12 weeks was statistically significant (P = .018). Average duration of required analgesia was 5.5 days and average time required to return to usual activities was 5.7 days. Two patients suffered with refractory neuropathic pain over the lateral border of the foot without any obvious abnormality.
Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided percutaneous release with the use of a fine cutting device could be an alternative option for the treatment of persistent plantar fasciitis. The technique is not without complications, and a mild but statistically significant decline in pain levels from early to short term has been detected. Therefore, the long-term outcomes of this technique need to be investigated before we can advocate its routine use.
Human and mechanical simulations are used to teach and assess clinical competencies in medical education. In 2014, the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners implemented the Clinical Skills Patient Encounter, an examination using standardized patients. Similar clinical skills examinations already existed as part of medical and osteopathic licensure examinations. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of simulation-based education in the nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States to inform podiatric clinical faculty and other stakeholders about current trends within the podiatric education system. In 2019, the Clinical Skills Patient Encounter committee of the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners developed a survey and contacted each podiatric school to voluntarily participate. The mailed survey instrument gathered information on patient simulation modalities, years used, clinical content application, simulation program administration, facilities and equipment available, and the role of simulation educators. All nine schools participated anonymously. The survey showed that simulation modalities were used in all of the schools during the first 3 years, although there was considerable variance in their use.
Background: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) was first introduced into clinical practice in 1982 and has been a beneficial inclusion to the non-invasive treatment option of numerous orthopaedic pathologies. However, clinical evidence of the use of ESWT for various foot and ankle disorders has been limited with a consensus on its efficacy yet available. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to systematically review the literature, to provide a critical evaluation and meta-analysis for the use of ESWT in foot and ankle disorders.
Methods: The PubMed and Embase databases were systematically reviewed and clinical studies that reported ESWT use for various foot and ankle disorders included.
Results: A total of 24 clinical studies that included 12 randomized controlled trials and 12 case series were identified. Analysis of the evidence has indicated that ESWT can help manage plantar fasciitis, calcaneal spur, Achilles tendinopathy and Morton’s neuroma. Meta-analysis of the change in pre-to post-VAS overall scores for plantar fasciitis significantly favored ESWT compared to placebo/conservative treatment with a MD-3.10(95%Cl, -4.36 to -1.83; l2=68%; P<0.00001).
Conclusions: The current evidence has suggested that ESWT can provide symptomatic benefit to plantar fasciitis treatment, with minimal and unremarkable side effects. Overall, ESWT has been demonstrated to be safe treatment option with a favorable complication profile. Further well-designed studies of ESWT for the treatment of calcaneal spurs, Achilles tendinopathy and Morton’s neuroma are warranted to more soundly and safely support its current use. Future studies are suggested to investigate the optimization of ESWT treatment protocols.
People suffering from diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcerations, which, if left untreated, could also lead to amputation. Monitoring of the foot temperature can help in the prevention of these foot complications, and various studies have shown that elevated temperatures may be indicative of ulceration. Over the years there have been various devices that were designed for foot temperature monitoring, both for clinical and home use. The technologies used vary from infrared (IR) thermometry, liquid crystal thermography (LCT), IR thermography and a vast range of analogue and digital temperature sensors that were incorporated in different measurement platforms. All these systems are able to collect thermal data from the foot, some being able to acquire data only when the foot is stationary and others being able to acquire from the foot in motion, which can give a more in-depth insight to any emerging problems. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available literature related to the technologies used in these systems, outlining the benefits of each and what further developments may be required to make the foot temperature analysis more effective.
Background: Perceived acceptability of barefoot use has largely been ignored in the literature despite its importance to long-term implementation and behaviour change. This study aimed to compare acceptability of undertaking weight bearing physical activities in regular running shoes versus barefoot in habitually shod individuals.
Methods: Healthy young men and women were recruited from the Gold Coast. Participants completed six activities (lunges, walking, jogging, sidestep, vertical jump and hop) in shod and barefoot conditions then answered questions pertaining to level and source of discomfort, ease of performance, and acceptability. Indices of bone quality were measured from the dominant calcaneus by quantitative ultrasound (QUS).
Results: Seventeen healthy male (n = 8) and female (n = 9) university students participated in the study [mean ± standard deviation, age 26.59 ± 7.26 years, body mass index [BMI] 23.08 ± 3.58 kg/m2]. Men were taller, heavier and had higher broadband ultrasound attention (BUA) than women (p<0.05). For “no” discomfort, “very easy” ease of performance and a “good amount” or “very good amount” of acceptability, shod conditions demonstrated response rates of 87.25%, 55.88% and 72.55% respectively. Barefoot conditions demonstrated rates of 62.75%, 39.22% and 48.03% for the same responses, respectively, and reported more ball of foot, forefoot, heel and plantar skin locations as sources of discomfort during activity than the shod condition. The group vertical jump height was higher barefoot than shod (44.88 ± 8.44 cm and 43.25 ± 8.76 cm respectively; p<0.05), but no difference was seen for the hop. Males jumped and hopped higher than females under both footwear conditions (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Participants initiating barefoot weight bearing exercise may experience slightly greater discomfort and less ease of performance in the initial transition from the shod condition, however, may perform better in vertical jump. Whether those differences in experience persist over the long term will require longitudinal studies.