As the number and complexity of operative techniques taught at U.S. podiatric medicine and surgical residencies (PMSR) with the added credential in reconstructive rearfoot and ankle (RRA) surgery has continued to increase, so to has the use of intraoperative fluoroscopy. The purpose of the present prospective observational pilot study was to quantify and compare the shallow dose equivalent (SDE), deep dose equivalent (DDE), and lens of the eye dose equivalent (LDE) exposures for podiatric medicine and surgery residents at a single PMSR-RRA over 12 consecutive months. Shallow-dose equivalent, DDE, and LDE exposures (in millirems) were measured using Landauer Luxel dosimeters from July of 2018 to July of 2019. Dosimeters were exchanged monthly, and mean monthly/annual SDE, DDE, and LDE exposures were calculated and compared. Overall, residents averaged 19 operative cases per month and 222 per year. More than half (53%) required intraoperative fluoroscopy, for which a mini C-arm was used in most cases. Monthly SDE, DDE, and LDE exposures averaged 7.3, 9.3, and 7.0 mrem, respectively; whereas annual SDE, DDE, and LDE exposures averaged 87.3, 112, and 84 mrem, respectively. No significant monthly (P = 1.0, P = .70, and P = .74) or annual (P = .67, P = .67, and P = .33) differences were identified between residents. The annual SDE, DDE, and LDE for residents at a single PMSR-RRA were well below the recommended dose limits of 50,000 mrem/year (SDE), 5,000 mrem/year (DDE), and 15,000 mrem/year (LDE) set by the National Council on Radiation Protection. However, given that the stochastic effects from low levels of ionizing radiation are cumulative, not well studied long-term, and relate both to the degree and duration of exposure, mini-C arm fluoroscopy, radiation tracking, and use of personal protective equipment provide simple means for residents to reduce any long-term potential for risk.
Background: Historically, Kirschner wires have been used for fixation of the interphalangeal joints of the toe. They are still the most popular form of fixation, likely due to training patterns, ease of use, and decreased cost. Recently, numerous medullary fixation devices have become available, including medullary screws.
Methods: After performing various forms of fixation for the correction of toe deformities, the authors have developed a new pilot hole technique for screw fixation advancing on the previously described pilot hole technique for Kirschner wire fixation.
Results: The authors have found this method to provide intraoperative confidence that improper hardware placement has not occurred.
Conclusions: The pilot hole technique described in this paper is a safe and effective technique that may be employed by surgeons using screw fixation for the treatment of hammertoe deformities. The technique reduces the possibility of surgeon error and helps to ensure that the screw is properly placed within the phalanges when properly employed.
Background: Recurrent ulceration is a common problem after partial first-ray amputations. Loss of the first metatarsophalangeal joint contributes to altered biomechanics and increased pressure on the foot. This may increase risk of adjacent ulcerations and additional amputations. Preserving first-ray length maintains the metatarsal parabola and limits transfer lesions, but few data support this. We aimed to evaluate the incidence of ulceration after partial first-ray amputations and to assess the association between metatarsal protrusion distance and recurrent ulceration.
Methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients underwent unilateral partial first-ray amputation at various levels along the first metatarsal, and the metatarsal protrusion distance was measured after surgery. Incidence of ulceration was evaluated on the ipsilateral foot. We hypothesized that patients with a longer first metatarsal were less likely to ulcerate again on the ipsilateral foot.
Results: Fourteen patients (43.8%) ulcerated again after partial first-ray amputation. Mean time to ulceration was 104 days. Active smoking status was associated with increased risk of another ulceration (P = .02), and chronic kidney disease was associated with a decreased risk of recurrent ulceration (P = .03). The average metatarsal protrusion distance for patients who ulcerated again after surgery was 36.1 mm versus 25.9 mm for patients who did not (P = .04). Logistic regression analysis of the receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated an ideal cutoff length for recurrent ulceration of 37 mm (area under the curve = 0.7381). Patients with a protrusion distance greater than 37 mm were nine times as likely to ulcerate again (95% CI, 1.7–47.0).
Conclusions: Partial first-ray amputations can be a good initial salvage procedure to clear infection and prolong bipedal ambulatory status. Unfortunately, these patients are prone to recurrent ulceration. Significant loss of first metatarsal length is a poor prognostic indicator for recurrent ulceration.
One of the challenges after central ray resection is a large soft-tissue defect. Many authors have reported the use of external fixators as a means of narrowing the forefoot. Ours is the first article to report an interesting case using widely available and inexpensive tools such as Kirschner and cerclage wires as an external fixation means of narrowing the forefoot after a complete second-ray resection and extensive soft-tissue debridement for a severe diabetic foot ulcer. This simple yet inexpensive technique is easy to perform for any foot and ankle surgeon at any hospital or surgical center.
Plantar vein thrombosis (PVT) is an atypical cause of plantar heel pain and is seldom reported in the literature. We present a unique, rare case report of a patient exhibiting plantar heel and medial arch pain caused by thrombosis in the plantar medial branch of the posterior tibial vein. The diagnosis was made by means of magnetic resonance imaging, showing lobulated hypointensity in the medial plantar vein, consistent with a PVT. In this article, we provide an overview of the clinical signs of PVT, which is most commonly plantar heel pain. Furthermore, we discuss ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging as diagnostic modalities, and conservative treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications, anticoagulation therapy, and compression therapy. As with other types of venous thromboembolism, this condition must also be diagnosed without delay to avoid potential complications.
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.